Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Chelsea buns

The keen observers amongst you will have noticed that our kitchen has been something of a bakery recently - croissants, English muffins, a failed attempt at crumpets (which didn't grace the pages of this blog), and now, Chelsea buns. I tore the recipe out of the Observer Food Monthly magazine in January 2010 and now finally got around to making them. The recipe is by Darina Allen from her book "The Forgotten Skills of Cooking" and is pretty straight forward. Y was demanding lurid pink icing, but I didn't want to cheapen my beautiful creations!

The result - gorgeous, slightly doughy, rolls with a brown crust, juicy sultanas and moist stickiness from the sugar glaze. Simply delicious. My batch made about 20 buns and I was in grave danger of eating the lot, so Y and I devoured some for breakfast, gifted 6 to a friend, and froze the others for re-heating in the oven.
A few notes about the recipe (which is here): I substituted dried active yeast and used about 20-30 grams. I omitted the peel and upped the sultana quantity but that's purely personal preference. The one part that is tricky is being sure to roll the dough up with its sultana filling, nice and tight. I think next time, once I've rolled out the dough and sprinkled generously with the sultana mixture, I'll then slice the dough into strips and roll up each individually. The sugar glaze instructions made a massive amount, so you really only need 1/3-1/2 of the quantity. I would also recommend cooking them for longer than the recommended 15minutes - 20/25minutes should be fine.
Incidentally, on the same weekend, the lovely Jo of Afternoon Tease was also making Chelsea buns, and it's with more than a hint of jealousy that I admit hers look better than mine! She's used a different recipe, so if you decide to give them a go, maybe check out both recipes first. 

13 comments:

Jo said...

Ah thanks for the lovely mention! Your buns look amazing...I can't wait to sample them at your brunch club in March!
x

Food For Think said...

You have been a proper baker recently. Yet another recipe that I really want to try!

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

Nice buns you've got there, lady ;)

Seriously, these absolutely look the biz. Perhaps I should give them a try. Haven't made Chelsea buns since schooldays, eleventy billion years ago...

Food Urchin said...

I luv a chelsea bun me, these look bloody great.

Laura Nickoll said...

Yours look even more tempting than those in Darina's original feature. Divine. I've had some amazing ones in Cornwall, with caramelised chopped pecans. What do you think about adding nuts?

LexEat! said...

I'm feeling the pressure Jo, after seeing yours!

Food For Think - it has become my new obsession!

AForkful - gee thanks! Definitely time to make them again!

Thanks Food Urchin

Thanks for the comment Laura - the caramelised chopped pecans sounds gorgeous - I definitely think you could add whatever you liked to the filling - you could go chocolatey or have diced apple and pecans with cinnamon - or even more savoury with caramelised onion (although probably not still a property chelsea bun then!). Best of luck!

tori said...

They look simply divine. Haven't had a chelsea bun since high school (they were always what I grabbed on our way to debating- somehow I began to associate them with stammering and being stressed and defensive). After seeing these, I think I may be cured.

Gourmet Chick said...

Oh my these look sensational - and don't worry Lex the taste is the most important thing anyway!

Salty said...

Gorgeous - definitely better au naturel and not with pink icing!

Siobhan said...

These look great! I am going to try.

SophR said...

ooooh, i LOVE LOVE LOVE chelsea buns. you may re-create these on your visit to Sydney. thanks.

Gin and Crumpets said...

I think your Chelsea buns look pretty damn gorgeous. Could fancy one right now!

LexEat! said...

Thanks for the lovely comments!
My buns feel well loved!