- September 2015
- Makes 12 buns
- Hands-on time 1 hour, oven time 30 min, plus proving
Chelsea buns are British bakes that date back to the 17th century, this traditional recipe is packed with spiced flavour and sticky sultanas.
- 14.4g (8.6g saturated)
- 64.2g (33.9g sugars)
- 500g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
- 30g caster sugar
- 1 tsp fine salt
- 7g fast-action dried yeast
- 300ml whole milk
- 75g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
- Zest 1 large lemon
- 2 tsp mixed spice
- 1 large free-range egg
For the filling
- 100g unsalted butter, very soft or at room temperature
- 200g light brown sugar
- 100g sultanas or currants
For the glaze and topping
- 50ml milk
- 50g caster sugar
- 3 tbsp demerara sugar
- To make the dough, put the flour, caster sugar, salt and yeast into a large bowl and set aside. Put the milk, butter, lemon zest and mixed spice into a small saucepan and cook over a low-medium heat until all the butter has melted. Set aside until just lukewarm.
- Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture, then pour in the milk mixture and add the egg. Mix with your hands to form a rough, soft dough. Tip out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for about 10-15 minutes until smooth and elastic. (This can also be done in a stand mixer, using the dough hook on low speed for 10 minutes.)
- Put the dough in a lightly greased bowl and cover with cling film. Leave it to rise for about 1-1½ hours or until it has doubled in size (see Make Ahead). Tip out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and use a rolling pin to roll into a 40cm x 50cm rectangle.
- Using a spoon or spatula, spread the 100g butter in an even layer across the entire surface of the dough, then sprinkle over the 200g sugar. Top with sultanas/currants and gently press with your hand to secure in place. Roll up the dough into a cylinder along the long edge, keeping the spiral tight. Using a sharp knife, cut into 12 even slices (see Edd’s Golden Rules).
- Arrange the buns snugly in the base of a roughly 20cm x 30cm non-stick baking tin. Cover the tin with cling film, set aside and allow the buns to prove for 45-60 minutes until risen and puffy (they should now be closely joined together).
- While the buns are proving, heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4. Once proved, bake the buns for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. While the buns are baking, prepare the glaze: put the milk and caster sugar in a small pan, then bring to the boil over a low heat. Remove and allow to cool.
- Remove the buns from the oven and immediately brush with the cooled milk glaze, then sprinkle over the demerara sugar. Tear off each bun as required and eat while still warm or at room temperature.
If you want to prepare the dough ahead so you can have fresh Chelsea buns for a weekend brunch, mix and knead the dough, then let it rise overnight in the fridge. Remove in the morning, then continue with the recipe (the proving may take a little longer).
Once cooled, the baked buns can be kept in a sealed container for up to 3 days, but they’re at their best on the day they’re baked.
You can freeze the buns for up to a month. Wrap in cling film and a double layer of foil, either in a large batch or as individually wrapped buns. Defrost, then warm through in a hot oven to serve.
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