Chelsea Buns

07/03/2013 20:56

Chelsea buns are delicious, sweet and spicy old-fashioned buns.
Chelsea buns are made from coils of enriched yeast dough, that is studded with dried fruits, flavoured with mixed spice and glazed with a sweet, sticky syrup. The fun part is uncoiling them as you eat them. : )

The original recipe for Chelsea buns originates from the early 1700s in Chelsea, London. They were first baked in the 'Old Chelsea Bun House,' where they got their name and became immensely popular. The Chelsea Bun House was in business for the best part of a century, eventually closing it’s doors in 1839.

Chelsea buns were particularly popular during the 18th and 19th century, when London's 'Chelsea Bun House' was a favourite meeting place. At the height of its success in the 18th century it was frequented by high society, including Kings George II and III, who apparently would call in for a bun en route to the nearby Ranelagh Pleasure Gardens.

 Scotty is quite fond of a Chelsea bun too. :)


Makes 9

500g/1lb 2oz strong white flour + plus extra for dusting
1 tsp salt
1 egg, beaten
7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
30g caster sugar
40g unsalted butter, melted
250ml milk, heated to lukewarm

50g unsalted butter, melted
60g light Muscovado sugar
1 tsp mixed spice
180g mixed dried fruit

2 tbsp Golden syrup
100g icing sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice

Put flour, salt, yeast and caster sugar in a large bowl and stir together.  Add 40g of the melted butter, the milk and egg and mix to a soft dough, adding a little more milk if necessary. Turn the mixture out onto a lightly floured board and knead for 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. Place the dough into an oiled bowl and cover with a clean damp tea towel, leave to rise in a warm place, until it has doubled in size. This will take about 1 to 2 hours

 Lightly grease  20 x 20cm  square shallow cake tin with a little butter.    
Flour your work surface, and roll out the dough to a rectangle 35 x 25cm. Brush over the remaining melted butter then sprinkle with the Muscovado sugar. Mix together the mixed spice and dried fruit and scatter over the dough.

Roll up the dough along the long edge, as though you were making a Swiss Roll.  Seal the edge. Turn the roll over so that the seal is underneath and then cut into nine 9 equal buns.
Place the buns, cut side down, into the buttered cake tin, leave a little bit of space between each bun, and cover with tea towel. Leave to prove until the dough has doubled in size, (about 30 minutes) and they have all merge into each other.

Preheat the oven to 190ºC/ 170ºC fan/Gas 5.
Bake the buns for about 20-25 minutes or until well risen, golden brown and piping hot.

Remove from the oven and brush with a little golden syrup to glaze. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.

Put the icing sugar in a bowl, add the lemon juice and mix to a thick icing. Drizzle over the top of the buns, and leave to set. Then, just break the buns apart and tuck in!