The buns are traditionally made with an enriched yeasted dough and filled with a mixture of butter, sugar, dried fruit and spices. The filled dough is rolled into a spiral and individual buns are created by cutting cross sections of the dough.
The buns are placed in a roasting pan and are baked together with their sides touching, so that they merge together during baking and have to be torn apart to serve.
Whilst still hot, the buns are usually glazed with a cold eater and sugar solution, which produces a lovely sticky finish to the buns when cool.
Over the years, I have tried out quite a few different recipes for Chelsea Buns and the dough recipe given here is my favourite. The dough is not sweet, but the overall effect created is one of sweetness due to the filling and topping used.
I recently made some jars of mincemeat in preparation for Christmas and decided that I would use some of my stash in these buns. I was delighted with the results and think that these would be a lovely treat over the festive season. I also deviated from the traditional recipe by using a simple glacé icing as a glaze to the finished buns.
As with many of the recipes I gravitate towards, this one is quite straightforward and I urge you to try it.
Ingredients:500g strong white flour
1 tsp salt
1 x 7g sachet of fast-acting yeast
1 large free-range egg
100g icing sugar
1 teaspoon water
Method:1. Place the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl and stir until thoroughly combined. Make a well in the centre of the flour and sprinkle in the yeast.
2. Warm the milk and butter in a small saucepan until the butter is melted and the mixture is lukewarm. Pour into the flour mixture, add the egg and mix together thoroughly until the contents of the bowl come together into a soft dough.
3. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead well for 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic.
4. Place the dough into an oiled bowl and leave to rise, covered with cling film or a clean damp tea-towel, for about hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
5. Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Roll out dough into a rectangle about 30x20cm. Spread the mincemeat over the dough to within about an inch of the edges.
6. Roll along the long side of the dough to create a tight spiral. Using a sharp knife cut into 10 even slices.
7. Grease a deep roasting tin or baking tray thoroughly with butter.
8. Place the buns, cut side up, into the greased baking tray leaving about 1cm space between each one. You want them to be close enough so that when they rise further and then bake, they will bake with their sides touching. Leave to rise for about 30 minutes in a warm place.
9. Preheat oven to 190C/fan Oven 170C/Gas Mark 5.
10. When the buns are ready, put them in the pre-heated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden-brown. Remove the buns from the oven and let them cool slightly before transferring them to a cooling rack.
11. Mix the icing sugar and water together in a small bowl to create a smooth but slightly runny icing. Drizzle the icing over the cooled buns and allow to set before serving.