You just can’t go wrong with a Chelsea bun. Soft enriched dough crammed full of rich, sweet fillings and covered in finger-licking sticky glaze. Always a winner!
I love these warm for wintry breakfasts or with a cup of piping hot tea on a chilly afternoon. The soft sweet apple and tart, chewy, jewel-coloured dried cranberries are a perfect combination for this time of year.
150g strong white bread flour
80g wholemeal flour
7g easy blend yeast (1 sachet)
1 tsp sugar
big pinch of salt
125ml warm milk
250g(ish) cooking apples
2 tbsp soft brown sugar
1 tbsp cornflour
35g soft butter
75g dried cranberries
pinch of ground allspice
icing sugar and milk or warmed honey to glaze
Sift the flours into a large bowl and mix through the salt, sugar and yeast. Rub the butter into this mix. Warm the milk a little (so it’s just tepid) and use a fork to beat the egg into it. Gradually pour the egg/milk mixture into the dry ingredients and bring it all together to form a soft dough. Remember that the flour may not be able to absorb all of the liquid, so it’s a good idea to add the wet ingredients a little at a time.
Once you have a nice soft ball of dough, turn it out onto a very lightly floured surface and knead it for a few minutes until if feels smooth and springy.
Wash and dry the bowl you mixed the dough in so that it’s nice and warm and lightly oil it. Pop the dough in the bowl, cover with oiled cling film and put it somewhere warm for about an hour, until it has doubled in size.
Whilst the dough rises you can prepare the filling. Peel and core the apples before chopping them into quite small pieces. Whisk together the sugar, cornflour and allspice in a large mixing bowl and then toss the apple and cranberries in it.
Once the dough has risen take it out of the bowl and knead it again for a minute or two on a lightly floured surface. This means that all the air bubbles will be evenly distributed throughout it. Roll the dough out into a rectangle, a little bigger than a piece of A4 paper. Spread the surface with the butter and then scatter over the filling mixture. Roll the dough up tightly, starting at the long edge. Cut it into eight even-sized pieces and place these, cut-side down into a generously buttered baking dish. Re-cover with cling film and put the dish back in a warm place for another hour until the buns have risen and are sitting quite snugly in the tin.
Pre-heat your oven to 190°c. Bake the buns for about 30 minutes until they are golden brown.
Make a simple glaze by combining a couple of tablespoons of icing sugar with a splash of milk and brushing onto the buns or simply warming some honey and drizzling it over them.