Monday, May 9

Chelsea Buns (not Man. U buns)

I wanted to bake something gorgeous for morning tea for Mothers day, and Chelsea Buns seemed just the thing. Mr PK thought I was baking for him, and declared they had to be excellent with a name like Chelsea. Sadly my buns proved rather more fabulous than his teams on pitch performance, they went down 2-1 to Manchester United this morning. Well that was worth getting up at 5.30 for......and no, your wife wasn't keen on getting up and making coffee since she was "awake anyway'.

This recipe is from the latest NZ Gardener Homegrown, which is chock full of good baking & preserving ideas. I think it is based on the original Edmond's recipe, with a bit of fiddling. I didn't have mixed fruit, so used a few spoons of candied peel, as many raisins as I could find in the box (about 1/2 cup) and some currents because they were the only other dried fruit we had. I have always found currents to be rather mean joyless little fruit, but the Chelsea fan loves them, and they did bulk out the fruit quota.

These may seem like a wee bit of a faff, but they were actually really easy. I made the dough and left it to rise while we had coffee and breakfast, stirred up the filling and cut the buns, then while they were rising put some washing out . The actual baking time is about 20 mins, then just ice with a super simple lemon icing. You will be thrilled with the results, as will the lucky people you share with.......

Iced Chelsea (not Man. U ) Buns

1/4 cup of warm water (about blood temp.)
1/2 tsp sugar
2 tsp dried yeast ( I use the Tasti brand from the supermarket)
3 cups high grade flour (plus a little more if necessary)
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
3/4 cup warm milk (about blood temp)
3 tbsp melted butter

In a bowl mix together with a wooden spoon
50 gr soft butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp mixed spice
1 1/2 cups dried fruit

Mix 1 cup icing sugar with enough boiling water to make a thickish icing (to thin and it will just slide off your buns) adding a squeeze of lemon juice

Mix the warm water with the sugar & yeast and leave in a warm spot for 10 mins to froth up while you get your dry ingredients ready. If it does not froth your yeast is old, so buy a new bottle & start again.
Put your flour in a large bowl (I use my Kitchen Aid) with the salt & sugar and stir together. Add the milk, butter & yeast mix, and either process in your mixer with a dough hook attachment, or if doing this by hand, mix with a wooden spoon until a rough dough forms. Turn out onto a floured bench, and knead for 8-10 minutes until you have a smooth, springy dough. Kneading isn't tricky, you simply push the dough away from you with the heel of your hand, then pull it back using the other hand, turn & repeat the process. You will quickly get the hang of it, what you are doing is working the gluten in the flour to create a springy elastic dough. It is very relaxing, so no need to stress. If it seems a bit wet add a little more flour, but be sparing, it is easy to add to much and have to keep adjusting till you have enough dough to feed the army. Pop your dough back into the bowl, which you have rubbed with a little oil, then cover with a tea towel & leave back in a warm spot to rise for another hour or so. If you don't have a warm spot, turn your oven to the minimum setting for a couple of minutes, then turn the heat off & pop your bowl in. As long as you can touch the tray and sides of the oven it is not to hot.
After an hour or so, take the dough out & roll into a rectangle about 20cm x30cm. Don't use a ruler, a guesstimate is fine. Spread with your filling, roll up like a sponge roll and slice into buns about 2cm wide.

Pop into a tin & leave to rise covered again for 30 minutes or so, then bake at 190C for 20-25 minutes until golden & smelling like heaven.
Ice while warm, and distribute to waiting fans, footie or foodie

You may remember at school making a scone dough based version of these buns, I think we called them cinnamon twirls. I don't think they are a patch on a yeasted dough, but then I do have a certain ambivalence to scone dough. This perhaps stems for Mrs Bossycow's Form 2 cooking class (I cant actually remember her name, so we shall use a pseudonym) when, paired with Sandra Sporty, I had to make scones. Sandra was a dear, and her skill on the netball court unrivalled (certainly by me, my one and only attribute at sport was being tall for my age) but in the kitchen she was a klutz, bless her. After one misweighed bowl of flour dropped on the floor too many I tactfully (for me) suggested she sit quietly, wash up & not touch anything, while I made her scones & my own. So please explain dear reader why my scones achieved a lowly B, and Sandra's a mighty A??? The same batch!? I know I need to build a bridge, but really, the injustice.....


  1. they look so perfect ! i love mr pk trying it on for a coffee, yeah fat chance ....

  2. I agree they are much easier to make than you would imagine and of course taste far better than shop bought. Made me want to make some again! Enjoyed the post.

  3. These look so pretty and how perfect for mothers day. I just bought the Homegrown mag so will hunt them out in it. Love your description of currants, so true! I always give them a good soak in boiling water to juice them up a bit. With you on the tall thing too...:)

  4. Christine, let me the first to say, you have great looking buns!! Definitely need to give these a try. I share your sentiments about the currants, and can't imagine how you will ever be able to move on from the injustice of the scone episode.
    Sue :-)

  5. I do love me a Chelsea bun (though mainly as a vehicle for a great deal of icing heh), yours are so pretty and even, mine never look quite so tidy...

  6. So craving sweet right now & I would just love to pop round for one of these & a cuppa :)

  7. I love Man U buns and my Pop will be pleased at the footy result being from that town. They do look delicious or is it just the fantastic photography and lighting ;0)

  8. Ooooooh I love Chelsea buns with a good pot of tea... and I must agree with Sasa, it's all about the icing!

  9. They look so pretty! And I entirely sympathise, Tim is a bit obsessed with football (Wellington Phoenix/All Whites). I agree with you about yeasted > scone, I love scones on their own, but any pinwheel style creation invariably seems dry and tough.

  10. They are some good looking buns! Very impressive, and cute plate! My sister Chelsea used to get called "bun" when we were little, but I've never made them! Feeling very inspired :)

  11. Just catching up on blog reading on an empty stomach, so I'm already hungry, but this has sent me over the edge: just what I could go for right now, wow! The lemon icing sounds perfect.

  12. I know I left a comment when I read this the first time! I am here now to check up on you as you haven't posted for a while. I hope all is well and you're just busy with life ;)

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  14. "Thats an intriguing job. It was designer temporary your blog. Expectation to see again."

  15. I've never made Chelsea Buns before but was not daunted by the sweet ... Inventory of Hazardous Materials FarmersgirlCook I bought the world's best cakes book as u said its gd. .... the Hairy Bikers are a couple men from the north of England who drive


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