Chelsea buns

These were last weekend’s breakfast baking.  As I have said in earlier posts, the girls get me up early, so at the weekends I have used the opportunity to try baking or cooking something new.  Chelsea buns make a very decadent breakfast, but a very delicious one too.   The recipe again comes from Daniel Stevens’ Bread book (River Cottage Handbook No. 3).  I think next time I will bake them a bit longer than I did this time, as they were a little bit doughy, but I was very pleased with them.  They were lovely and buttery and were still good the next day.  All you need to accompany these is a good cup of tea.

For the buns:

550g (1lb 6 oz) strong white bread flour
50g (2oz) caster sugar
7g (1 sachet) of easy bake yeast
10g (½oz) salt
150 ml (¼ pint) milk
225g (9 oz) butter
1 egg

For the filling:

25g (1oz) melted butter
100g (4oz) caster sugar
200g  (8oz) currants

For the glaze:

50 ml (2 fl oz) milk
50g (2 oz) caster sugar


You will need a deep sided 30cm square baking tin, buttered and coated with a sprinkling of caster sugar.

Place the butter and the milk into a pan over a gentle heat until the butter melts and the milk gets to hand hot. In a large bowl, mix the flour, caster sugar, salt and yeast and then add the egg and the butter and milk.  Using your hands mix to a sticky dough.  Knead the dough, as described in the spelt bread recipe until the dough is silky and smooth. Rinse the bowl clean and dry well and place the dough into this bowl, cover with clingfilm or a plastic bag and leave to double in size.

Place the dough onto a floured surface and roll to a rectangle measuring 60cm x 40cm or as close as you can get to this. Brush with the melted butter, leaving a 2 cm border along one of the longest edges.  Sprinkle the sugar all over the butter, top with the currants and then press them lightly into the dough.  Roll up the dough like a swiss roll, starting with the edge opposite to the one on which you left the 2 cm border. Brush the border with water and seal the edge well.  Slice into 9 pieces, place each piece into the tin, leaving space for expansion between each bun and flatten slightly with your hand.

Preheat the oven to 200°c (gas mark 6, bottom of the roasting oven of the Aga ) whilst you cover the tin with the clingfilm again and leave to prove for about 30 minutes until doubled in size again. Sprinkle with a little caster sugar and bake for about 20-25 minutes (mine needed 25 minutes but I was a bit too eager) until golden brown.

Just before the end of the cooking time warm the remaining caster sugar and the milk together in a pan over a gentle heat and when the buns come out of the oven, brush them immediately with this mixture to give them a delicious sticky glaze.  Leave to cool a little but make sure you enjoy at least one whilst it’s still warm from the oven.

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