Christmas is fast approaching and to celebrate the season, I made these Christmas bun’s from Paul Hollywood’s ‘How to Bake’ at the weekend.
I ended up making them with wholemeal flour, thanks to some short-sightedness in the supermarket <<must go to Specksavers>>. The dough was a bit – dense – but this could also be because I baked them in a 20x20cm tin and they didn't have a lot of room to expand in. They were all eaten pretty quickly.
300ml full-fat milk
40g softened butter
500g strong white flour
10g instant yeast
25g melted butter
75g soft brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
100g dried cranberries
100g dried apricots (I am not a fan of apricots so I used 100g of raisons AND 100g of pistachios, so I'd 300g of filling in all instead of 200g. Hey, it's Christmas)
75g (or 9 half-teaspoons) apricot jam (I used some rhubarb jam I had in the fridge)
100g icing sugar
1 tablespoon of hot water
the fine zest of a lemon
Warm the milk and the butter in a saucepan until the butter melts and the mixture is lukewarm.
If you haven’t already, wash your hands. Then, in a large bowl, mix the flour and the salt and then add the yeast. Mix in the milk and the egg with your hands until the dough starts coming together.
Flour your worktop and tip the dough onto it and knead it until it’s smooth and soft. This should take about 5-10 minutes. If you start getting tired, you’re kneading the dough too intensely, so lay off a little ;-)
Oil the bowl and put the kneaded dough back in. Cover it with clingfilm and leave in a warm place to rise until it’s doubled in size, which should take an hour or two.
When you’re ready to start working again, line your baking tray with some baking paper. As I said, I used a tin which is about 20x20cm, which was too small.
On your floured counter top, shape the dough into a rectangle about 30x20cm – your dough should be about 5mm thick (about the thickness of a coin). The 30cm side should be nearest you. Stick this side down by pushing the dough into your counter top.
|Rolled out Christmas buns dough|
Brush the dough with the melted butter, then sprinkle this with the brown sugar, cinnamon and then the dried fruits and nuts. Leave about 1-2cm clear at the side nearest you – as you roll the dough up, the filling will push in front of the sausage and this gap means that you waste as little filling as possible.
|With all the filling - and the 1-2cm gap|
Right, time to roll. Take a deep breath and take the edge of the dough furthest away from you and fold it about 2cm in to start the roll. You have to roll pretty tightly, so don’t be afraid. If the roll is too loose, all the filling falls out. Keep going until you’ve got a sausage shape.
When you’ve got your sausage, divide it into 9 pieces. Place these, cut side up, onto your prepared baking tin, cover with a towel and leave to relax for 30 minutes.
|Relaxed dough ready to go into the oven|
After your 30 minutes, heat your oven up to 190°C. Bake the buns for 20-25 minutes.
When the buns are done take them out of the oven and put them n a cooling rack. While they are still warm, heat the jam slightly in your microwave and brush the tops of the buns with it. Make your icing by mixing the icing sugar with the water in a cup and trickle this over the buns.
The buns are quite deep – about 5-6cm high, so if you prefer a more Danish pastry sized treat, cut the sausage into more pieces and use a bigger baking tray.
Photos were all taken with my phone, so apologies for the bad quality!
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