Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Bath Buns..does that sound sorta naughty or what? When I spotted this recipe in my " All you knead is bread" book, I knew I had to make it. The title alone demanded it. Bath buns orginate in Bath,England. It's a sweet bun or sweet rolls as we Americans might call them that is filled with raisins and mixed candied peel..if you should choose to add those in. I know alot of us associate mixed peel with horrible fruit cakes..but I assure you that not all recipes including that ingredient is horrible..Infact, most of them are down right delicious. The more European breads I bake, the more I love them. I'm using orange zest like there is no tomorrow and I'm happily kneading my way through these cookbooks and producing some of my best loaves to date.
This recipe is very easy and you treat it like a drop biscuit..only with yeast! You don't need to roll these out,but insted plop them straight onto the baking sheet and sprinkle giant pieces of rock salt on top..or coarse sugar..or cinnamon/sugar if you haven't got the the other two. The only reason I even mention the cinnamon/sugar is because I did just that the first time around. We loved it. I've made this with and without the mixed peel..I've used orange zest in place and we loved that just as much..infact maybe even more.
The one thing you need to come to terms with is that the dough is going to be sticky..like real real REAL sticky. You are going to panick. I did. The author explains that a sticky dough is actually a good thing and you want this. It's hard sometimes for me to come to terms with that because usually you need to add flour in to reduce that problem but the more and more european type breads I bake, the more I realise that they are right. Now, that doesn't mean to leave all of your doughs on the sticky side..follow the directions that are given in the recipe..so when I say a sticky dough, I really mean it here. I will admit that it was so sticky that I couldn't knead it properly so I did add a small amount of flour. The dough was still super sticky so just use as little as possible and don't panick if you need to use more.
These buns are so tender and airy and chewy. We loved them..we've eaten them for breakfast,snack,dessert and just because. Trust me..these babies are worth the time it takes to make them.
4 cups (500 g) All-purpose Flour or White Whole Wheat Flour
1-1/4 tsp. Instant Yeast
1/4 cup Sugar
1 cup Milk..heated up to a boiling point,then cooled to room temperature
2-1/2 tsp. Salt
3 TBS Butter,softened
1 cup Golden Raisins/Sultanas
1/3 cup Mixed Candied Peel
Rock/Coarse Sugar,to sprinkle
Making a predough: Put the flour in a bog bowl and make a well in the center. Add the yeast and sugar to the well and pour in the milk. Flick some flour on the milk to close the well. Cover and allow to rest for 1 hour. After that 1 hour, it will be foamy and bubbling through the top of the well. If it's not doing that, just dig through the flour to make sure the yeast is alive and well.
Sprinkle the salt around the edge of the flour,then add the butter and eggs to the well. Mix with a wooden spoon and then tip out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes..the dough is going to be sticky so deal with it as much as you can and only add the flour if kneading because next to impossible. Pop the dough back into the bowl,cover with plastic wrap and allow it to rest for 15 minutes. Take the dough out and gently knead in the raisins/sultanas and mixed peel.
Lightly grease a bowl with oil and place the dough into the bowl,cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest until doubled,about 2 hours.
If possible,use a deep roasting pan and line it with parchment paper. The deep pan allows the buns to rise without a tea towel or plastic wrap touching it..however if you do not have one, don't worry! simply use a regular cookie sheet and line it with parchment paper and cover the dough with either a floured tea towel or plastic wrap that has been oiled or sprayed with nonstick to stop the dough from sticking to it.
Pull the dough out of the bowl and break off/spoon 12 blops onto the prepared pan or sheet. Sprinkle rock/coarse sugar over each blob. Cover with a floured tea towel or oiled plastic wrap and allow it to rest until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 150 or 180 celcius. Bake for 20 minutes,until they are golden brown and they sound hollow when tapped. Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack. Serve warm or room temp.
Yield: 12 Buns
Source: All you knead is bread