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An update of the classic Chelsea bun, but without the currants. A fruity, fragrant bun to eat warm.

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This recipe is from The Observer years ago. I have a vague memory that its origin was a hotel in the lake district.

I make it a lot!


An update of the classic Chelsea bun, but without the currants. A fruity, fragrant bun to eat warm.

Makes 9.

450g strong white flour
1/2 tsp salt
75g butter, cubed
a sachet of easy-blend dried yeast (7g)
30g caster sugar
an egg, lightly beaten
225m lukewarm milk

For the filling:
250g dried apricots
6 green cardamom pods
4 tbsp apricot jam

To finish:
1 tbsp demerara sugar
3 tbsp apricot jam

You will need a square baking tin approximately 24cm x 24cm.
If your baking tin is not non-stick, then line it with greaseproof paper

Sieve the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl. Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles fine, fresh breadcrumbs, as if you were making pastry.
Stir in the yeast and sugar, then beat the egg into the milk and pour it into the flour mixture.
Mix the dough together, pulling it into a ball with your hands. Knead the dough for a good 3 or 4 minutes. The best way to do this is on a lightly floured board, pushing and folding the dough firmly but with a light hand.
You will feel when it is ready, the dough becoming soft, springy and alive as you continue to knead. Put the dough back in the mixing bowl, cover with a clean tea towel and leave in a warm place for an hour or so, till the dough has doubled in size. I use the shelf above the radiator or the airing cupboard.
Put the apricots in a small saucepan, cover with water, bring to the boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for 20 minutes until they are soft. Drain the fruit and chop it finely, then put it into a small mixing bowl. Crack the cardamom pods open and grind the seeds to a coarse powder. Stir it into the apricot with the jam.
Set the oven at 220C/gas mark 7. Punch the dough down gently then roll it out into a rectangle, about 105cm x 20cm. Cover with the apricot mixture, spreading it out to the edges. Wet the upper long edge with a little water, then roll the dough upwards into a long, thick sausage. Press the wet edge to seal.
Cut the roll into 9 thick slices.
Tuck the rolls, cut-side down, in the baking tin, 3 rolls on each row. Leave in a warm place for 20 to 30 minutes until the dough has plumped again. The buns should be almost touching.
Scatter the demerara over, then bake for 30-35 minutes until risen and golden [I find that 20 minutes is fine]. Shake the tin a little if they move in the tin, then they are cooked right through.
Melt the apricot jam in a small pan with 1 or 2 tbsp of water. When it is bubbling, brush it over the top of the buns. Leave it to cool briefly before tearing into individual buns.

Added by: allonestring

Tags: Bread Buns fruit

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