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.