Saturday, February 16, 2019

A BBB Bake from the Heart - Chelsea Buns

Raise your hand if you have binge-watched every single episode and special of the Great British Baking Show/Great British Bake-Off.  Yeah, we have.  My kids know the names of every single contestant.  We even got the Kransekake molds to make one of the Christmas special recipes.  Another of which was a Chelsea Bun Christmas Tree.  Now can someone from across the pond explain the difference between a chelsea bun and a cinnamon roll?  Is it that they are made with an unsweetened dough instead of sweet dough?  Honestly, I prefer it that way, why have a sweet dough if you have a sweet filling as well?  At any rate, it is the 11th Anniversary of the Bread Baking Babes!  Wow!  So for this month, we are making Chelsea buns in a shape.  Being February, some of us have chosen a heart.  You can use a shaped pan to make these of course, or try it free form.  A heart is slightly less conducive to the bun shape than a tree.  Here is a little expectation vs. reality on how mine turned out.  Here is closer to how wanted it to look, per my limited Photoshop skills:

And here is how it actually turned out:

Not bad for free form bun shape made with half sprouted, fresh ground flour, but still more of an inverted triangle than a heart.  And I was hoping for more of a red filling, but dried tart cherries are a fairly ruddy red-brown.  Maybe fresh raspberries next time!  That's okay though, they were delicious buns and certainly baked with love.  I loved the flavor of these buns!  So bright and tart from the tart cherries and cranberries I used, lightly sweetened, and then the nice drizzle of powdered sugar icing.  Just enough to give it plenty of sweetness.  And I love to melt butter over my warm cinnamon rolls or chelsea buns!  Yum. 

We would love for you to try out this recipe and join in as a buddy baker this month!  This is a special treat to make for family or guests.  And the dough holds beautifully in the fridge.  Will you go savory or sweet?  You don't have to have a blog to participate, a picture will do.  Just send a picture or your post of your finished buns with your chosen filling to the host kitchen, along with a photo and your baking experience by Feb 28th and be sure to put BBBuddy in the subject line.  You will receive a Bread Baking Buddy graphic to keep or add to your post, and be included in our Buddy round up at the end of the month. New recipes are posted every month on the 16th. Check out our Facebook group to see the participants' baking results during that time.

Shaped Chelsea Buns
Makes about 15 buns

800 g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting  (I used 400g all purpose flour, 200g sprouted spelt, 100g sprouted kamut, 50g spelt, 50g sprouted einkorn, all fresh ground except AP flour)
1 tbsp salt
15 g fast-acting yeast
400 ml milk
(¼ cup orange juice, added for my flour blend)
60 g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
2 eggs

Filling options:

Mincemeat filling:
411 g jar mincemeat
1 apple, finely diced
1 pear, finely diced
finely grated zest of 1 orange
75 g pistachio nuts, chopped
100 g candied peel
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
25 g unsalted butter, melted

To finish:
3 tbsp apricot jam
200 g icing sugar, sifted
finely grated zest of 1 orange
15 glace cherries
40 g candied peel
25 g pistachio nibs

Mix the mincemeat with the diced apple, pear, orange zest, candied peel, pistachio nuts and cinnamon.  Brush the rolled dough all over with the melted butter. Then spread the mincemeat mixture over the dough leaving a 2cm border. Roll the opposite long side of the dough towards you quite tightly, until the roll is complete and tight. Trim the ends to neaten.
Turkey stuffing filling (for a 500g flour batch of buns):
280g/10oz cranberry sauce
300g/10½oz leftover turkey, shredded
200g/7oz leftover sage and onion stuffing

Spread dough with cranberry sauce, then sprinkle with stuffing and leftover turkey and roll as normal.

Traditional filling:
25g/1oz unsalted butter, melted
1 orange, zest only, grated
75g/2½oz soft brown sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
100g/3½oz dried cranberries
100g/3½oz sultanas
100g/3½oz dried apricots, chopped

To finish:
1 heaped tbsp apricot jam
200g/7oz icing sugar, sifted
1 orange, zest only, grated

Brush rolled out dough all over with the melted butter. Evenly sprinkle the orange zest over the buttered surface, followed by the sugar, cinnamon and dried fruit.

The filling I used - Cherry cranberry filling:

½ c. dried tart cherries
½ c. dried cranberries
¼ c. orange juice
2 tbsp + 2 tsp lemon juice
3 scant tbsp sugar

For the Icing Glaze:
1½ cups powdered sugar
2 tbsp butter -- soft , room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 tbsp whole milk

Combine dried fruit, orange juice, lemon juice and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Cook uncovered for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the apricots are softened and liquid is reduced by half. Remove from heat and allow to cool. When cool, transfer mixture to a food processor and process until a puree forms. Cover and set aside at room temperature. 

In a small bowl, stir glaze ingredients until smooth, adding the milk one tablespoon at a time until icing is thin enough to easily spread.  Drizzle over rolls with a fork or place the icing in a quart size zip-type bag and press toward a bottom corner.  Snip the corner with a pair of scissors and squeeze the icing out of the bag to pipe onto the warm rolls.

Spread rolled out dough all over with a thin layer of softened butter if desired.  Evenly spread a layer of cherry filling over the dough.  You will have slightly more than you need, don't make it too thick or it will ooze out during baking.

For the dough:

Place the flour and salt and yeast into a large mixing bowl and stir until thoroughly combined.

Warm the milk and butter in a small saucepan until butter is melted and the mixture is lukewarm. Pour into the flour mixture, add the eggs and stir thoroughly to create a soft dough.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead well for five minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic. Or knead in a stand mixer on low for 5 minutes.

Cover dough and leave to rise for one hour or until doubled in size.

I stuck mine in the fridge and ended up using it two days later! Worked great.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Roll out into a rectangle about 20in x 14in.

Add desired filling.

Tack down the long side of the dough rectangle nearest to you by pressing it down onto the work surface with your thumb. Roll the opposite long side of the dough towards you quite tightly, until the roll is complete and tight. With a sharp knife cut into thick rounds - about 4cm/1¾in.  (I like using unflavored dental floss to cut my rolls.)

Grease a deep roasting tin or baking tray thoroughly with butter or line with parchment.

Place the buns, cut side up, into the greased baking tray leaving about 1cm/½in of space between each one. You want them to be close enough so that when they complete their rise and bake, they will bake with their sides touching. They can then be pulled apart and have a lovely soft edge.

    Leave to rise for about 30 minutes in a warm place.

    Preheat oven to 375ºF (190ºC).

    When the buns are ready, put them in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden-brown. Check after 15 minutes or so and cover the buns with foil if they are getting too brown.

    Remove the buns from the oven and let them cool slightly before transferring them from the tin to a cooling rack.

    For a sweet bun topping, melt the jam in a small saucepan with a splash of water until smooth. Brush the jam over the buns to glaze and allow to cool.  Mix together the icing sugar, orange zest and two tablespoons water. Drizzle the icing over the cooled buns and allow to set before serving.

    For a savory filling, omit the sweet toppings.

    The rest of the Bread Baking Babes

    Approximate nutrition for one iced bun as I made them: