Recipe 143 – Bath Buns

30th January 2013

This is the first recipe in the Section ‘Buns and Scones’ and it’s one that I have looked at quite a lot.  Today, I decided it was time to make it.  Having made quite a lot of bread recently I feel more confident with my kneading, so hopefully these would be a success.

Into my mixing bowl went 450g self-raising flour, 7g fast-action yeast, 1 teaspoon salt and 50g of caster sugar.  A well was made in the centre of the mixture and into this went 50g melted butter (cooled), 2 large eggs that had been beaten and 150ml tepid milk.  I gave this a quick stir together with my fingers and then added 175g sultanas and 50g chopped mixed peel (the remainder of a packet I had left over from Christmas).  Using my hands the mixture was brought together to form a dough.

Once the dough was formed, it was turned out onto a lightly floured board and kneaded for five minutes.  I must admit I wasn’t too keen on kneading the dough with the fruit in it, it made it difficult, the fruit kept falling out.  It was quite a sticky dough but after a few minutes of kneading it started to become smooth and elastic.

The dough was placed into an oiled bowl and covered with cling film.  This then had to be left for an hour until it had doubled in size.  I think my kitchen must have been cold as it took a good couple of hours before my dough had doubled in size, although looking back over the recipe I actually put cold milk into the dough rather than tepid milk as stated, so that is probably the reason why it took so long to start rising.

Once the dough had doubled in size, I lightly greased two baking trays.  The risen dough was turned out onto a board and kneaded again until it was smooth and elastic.  It then had to be divided into 18 pieces.  Each piece was  shaped into a bun – I rolled the dough in my cupped hand on the board – I’m sure all of you who watched British Bake-Off will have seen how Paul Hollywood told you to do this and I must admit that after practising this a few times, it is a very easy way to make lovely round balls of dough.  The ‘buns’ were placed onto the baking trays, covered with oiled clingfilm and left again until the had doubled in size.

I was quite concerned as my buns seemed rather small (hehe!) and the Bath Buns that the local Baker down the road has in his window are huge!  Again I think my kitchen was too cold and they didn’t really start to rise until I turned the oven on in preparation for our evening meal.  Once this was on they soon rose!

My other oven was put on to preheat to 170°C ready for the buns.  The final thing to do before they went into the oven was to brush the tops of them with a little beaten egg and sprinkle some nibbed sugar over them.  I didn’t have any nibbed sugar, so instead I crushed some sugar cubes that we had in a plastic bag.  They were probably slightly too big for the buns, but if I crushed them anymore they just looked like granulated sugar.

Into the oven they went for 15 minutes.  After this time they were a lovely golden brown and when removed from the tray their bottoms sounded hollow when tapped.  They were ready, so they were put onto a wire rack to cool.

Well some of them were left to cool, no sooner had I removed them from the oven than my son was there hovering in the kitchen asking if he could try one.  He cut it in half and spread butter all over it.  It was so delicious that he came straight back for another one.  I don’t know where he puts all the food he eats, he’s a tall lanky boy – I think he must have hollow legs.

Everybody’s verdict in the house was that they were very good.  They weren’t at all heavy, which I was concerned about as they had taken so long to rise and they tasted just as good the next day!  Another recipe to put on the ‘Bake Again’ list…

Bath Buns

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