These buns are amazing, soft, aromatic and stuffed full of fruit and spices, the perfect combination of flavours and great toasted or served simply buttered. Ok, so perfect buns aren't an instant thing but I promise you these buns are worth the additional effort and like any bread recipe its all about planning what you will do in the time your dough is working.
The other good thing is that you are in control of what you want in your buns, so in this mix we have a little crystallized ginger and chopped figs alongside the more traditional, raisins, sultanas and citron peel (hand chopped, ready chopped peel is vile), and you wouldn't want to spoil these amazing buns. To create the soft texture you need to use some fat in your dough, lard and dripping work well but you can also use white chocolate or even milk chocolate at a push, it makes the dough have a soft crumb, just the texture you want for your buns.
The buns would be great for festive celebrations and would easily adapted for Easter too, but frankly you'll love them so much you will eat them all year round !
What you need
- 600g strong white bread flour
- 150ml skimmed milk
- 14g dried yeast (2 pkts)
- Approx 120ml warm water but this will depend on your flour and the temperature in your kitchen
- 1 tbsp golden syrup (you could maple syrup or honey instead)
- 25g caster sugar
- 50g white fat (dripping, lard, chocolate)
- 300g dried fruit mixed (whatever you like)
- 1 1/2 tsp mixed spices (ginger, nutmeg, cardamon, cinnamon, feel free to mix and match)
- 1 tsp finely ground salt
- 3 eggs - free range please
- Another egg for glazing purposes
What you do
- Dissolve the yeast in the warm water, I always add a little flour as I find this get the yeast activated more quickly and leave in a warm place until frothy and the yeast is clearly active.
- Warm the milk and the syrup, caster sugar, white fat until melted and then add the spices, salt and the dried fruits. Allow to cool.
- Add the beaten eggs to the cooled milk mixture.
- In a large bowl combine the flour, yeast mixture and egg and milk mixture, stir until you have an loose dough. Leave this to rest for about 10 minutes covered, then knead again, do this again a couple of times but leaving it rest longer in between.
- You should eventually have a soft well combined active dough, divide this your require number of buns, I went for 10 but these were monster sized.
- Form balls and press flat, leave these to rest again on oiled trays until doubled in size, covered in plastic so the dough doesn't form a skin ( as this is an enriched dough it may take several hours)
- Bake at 200c in a pre heated oven, brush the tops with a beaten egg if you want a shiny top.
- They will be ready after about 15 minutes or so when well risen and golden on top, don't overcook them as they will go dry.
- Cool on a wire rack and devour slathered with butter, toasted or just as they are.
I am entering this post in the Tea time Treats challenge hosted by Karen over at Lavender and Lovage and Kate who blogs over at What Kate baked. The theme is "Dried Fruit" and I think this bun more than qualifies.