Chelsea Buns

Hey hey! 🙂

“Chelsea buns were the cronut of the 18th century!!” [1]

I love digging into history of food! I came across this ancient British bread by chance, and was surprised to see how much history it does have!

The “Bun House” in London was a baking institution during the 1800s in the sense that it was renown for its breads, and in particular its Chelsea buns and hot cross buns. It was visited by royalty and loved by public.

The Old Chelsea Bun House painted by Frederick Napoleon Shepherd in 1839 from a print at the Museum of London [2]

Since then, its popularity has not declined. Layers of cinnamon spiced raisins (& walnuts) are incorporated into the yeast-rich bread dough. Once baked, its aroma fills your house and you would want to bake it again and again. Pairing it with butter makes for an indulgent afternoon or morning snack 😀

Happy Baking!~~

Recipe from Paul Hollywood

Ingredients:

For the bread dough:

  • 500g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 7g sachet fact-action dried yeast
  • 300 ml milk
  • 40 g unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • vegetable oil, for greasing

For the filling:

  • 25 g unsalted butter, melted
  • 75 g soft brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 150g dried mixed fruit (or you can just use sultanas)

For the glaze:

  • 2 tablespoon milk
  • 2 tablespoon caster sugar

Method:

  1. Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl. Mix well, then make a well in the middle.
  2. Add the yeast to the flour and salt mixture.
  3. Heat the milk and butter in a saucepan until the butter melts and the mixture is lukewarm.
  4. Add the milk mixture and egg to the flour mixture and stir on medium until you end up with a rough dough (If required, add a little more flour).
  5. Put the dough on a floured surface and knead for a few minutes until the dough is smooth and not sticky anymore.
  6. Put the kneaded dough in an oiled bowl and leave to rest in a warm place, covered, for an hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.
  7. Place the dough back on the floured surface, knock it back.
  8. Using a rolling pin, spread the dough into a rectangle with a thickness of approximately 0.5 cm.
  9. Brush the dough with melted butter, then sprinkle all over with brown sugar, cinnamon and dried fruit.
  10. Roll the dough tightly into a cylinder.
  11. Cut 10 even sized pieces from the cylinder and leave them on a tray lined with baking paper.
  12. Cover and let rise 30 minutes in a warm place.
  13. Preheat the oven to 190C (fan forced).
  14. Bake the buns for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
  15. Meanwhile, heat the ingredients of the glaze in a saucepan until boiling. Let simmer on low heat for 2-3 minutes.
  16. Once buns are out of the oven and while they are still hot, brush them with the glaze all over.
  17. Set aside to cool on a wire rack and Enjoy!!!

References:

[1] https://londonist.com/2015/03/london-food-history-chelsea-buns
[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Old_Chelsea_Bun_House_exterior.jpg

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