My Chelsea bun recipe requires you to make an enriched dough (meaning that it has milk, sugar, butter and/or oil in the recipe). The process is identical to making a standard dough, however the dough is wetter. I have a plastic dough scraper/cutter that I use to help me stop the dough from sticking to the work-surface – it is a handy little tool but not absolutely necessary.
Do not be put off by the number of steps there are in this recipe, making Chelsea buns is very straightforward and is very worthwhile. The buns are light and fluffy and have a lovely sharp zing from the marmalade. By soaking the sultanas in boiling water they become much juicier and they stay plump even after cooking.
Chelsea buns with a marmalade glaze
For the dough:
250g wholemeal flour (Type 80)
150g self-raising flour
50g butter (melted)
200ml milk (warmed)
25g fresh yeast
For the filling:
25g butter (melted)
75g sultanas (put in boiling water to plump up, then drain)
25g mixed peel
2-3tbsp brown sugar
For the glaze:
1 heaped tbsp marmalade
1 heaped tbsp caster sugar
For the icing:
2-3 heaped tbsp icing sugar
1-2 tsp water
Place the flour, salt, and sugar in a large bowl and mix together.
Place the yeast in a bowl, add the milk, butter and eggs and mix together well.
Add the wet mix into the dry mix and combine using your fingers. The dough will be fairly wet.
Place the dough on a floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes.
Place the dough into a bowl, cover with cling film and leave to rise for about 2 – 2½ hours (until it has doubled in size).
Knock the air out of the dough, place on a floured surface and flatten into a square shape.
Brush the dough with the melted butter, scatter over the sugar, mixed peel and sultanas.
Roll the dough up into a long cylinder shape then, cut into 12 equal-sized pieces.
Place the pieces in a greased and floured tin, then leave to rise until they have doubled in size.
Once they have risen, bake in an oven at 180C fan for 15-16 minutes, turning the oven down to 160C fan after 8-9 minutes.
Remove from the oven and place the buns on a cooling rack.
Make the marmalade glaze by heating the marmalade, sugar and water together in a saucepan and heat until the sugar has dissolved and you have a syrupy liquid.
Brush the glaze over the buns, making sure the tops are well covered.
Finally make the icing by mixing the icing sugar together with a little water until you have a smooth but slightly runny icing.
Drizzle/brush the icing over the tops of the buns.
I have just returned from a quick visit to see a couple of friends who live just over an hour away. We went on a lovely walk that took us to the top of a small “bastide” village which had brilliant views over the surrounding countryside. On the way there we passed some vines that were being harvested. It was quite unlike the more romantic “vendange” that I went to a couple of weeks ago where all the grapes were being picked by hand. By contrast these grapes were being picked by specially designed machine that drives over the vines and strips the grapes as it goes. It was quite impressive to watch from the road and extremely quick. One thing I did notice was how bashed the grapes were as evidenced by how much juice there was when the grapes were tipped into the back of a trailer.
I took a very small gift with me for my friends – some French biscuits known as Langue de Chat (Cat’s Tongue). The name of the biscuits might not sound the most attractive but I can assure you they are definitely worth trying as they are very simple and taste delicious! I first started making Langue de Chat biscuits after a neighbour came around with a box of them shortly after they moved to the area and I just had to give them a go. What I like about them is you can make a batch and then add different flavours to them. Over the last year I have made the following types; orange, almond, chocolate orange, vanilla, chocolate and various ones with slithers of almond on the top. Yesterday I divided the batter in half and made both almond and orange biscuits.
As I was making them, I made two very silly mistakes yesterday firstly, never turn your back on biscuits when they are cooking in the oven and secondly, don’t forget to turn the temperature of the oven down when you are using a fan oven. Consequently the first batch of the biscuits that went through the oven were slightly on the brown side, however I got the bake on the second batch right. All I can say is pay attention to the biscuits when they are in the oven.
Langue de Chat
8oz caster sugar
4 egg whites
8oz plain flour
vanilla essence (chop and change the flavours as you wish)
Preheat the oven to 200C fan and line several baking trays with greaseproof paper.
Place the sugar and butter in a bowl and cream them together.
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until they are at the soft peak stage.
Add the egg whites to the butter and sugar mix.
Fold in the flour carefully.
Then add the flavour of your choice.
Place the batter in a piping bag (I sometimes use a freezer bag which I cut the corner off).
Pipe the batter in straight lines on to the prepared baking trays (note they do expand a little when they cook).
Bake in the oven for 7-8 minutes. (Make sure you keep an eye on them.)
Once cooked place them on a cooling rack and leave them to cool down before eating them or placing them in a box to be given away as a gift.