Thursday, October 28, 2010

Chelsea Buns Fresh from the Oven

For this month's Fresh from the Oven challenge Wendy of Notes from the Quirky Kitchen got us baking Chelsea Buns. Most of FFO members are English natives and everybody was familiar with these buns. Apparently this is something they teach the kids in the UK during the school cookery lessons and everybody from our baking group seems to have warm memories from that time. But we are Bulgarian guys and during our cookery lessons we were taught how to make things like tarator (a cold soup of yoghurt, cucumber, dill and garlic), so we haven't even heard about Chelsea buns. Actually I don't think we have some kind of sweet buns here. We have a few varieties of savoury ones but I can't remember of a sweet type.

After googling it we found that the perfect chelsea bun must to be rolled into a square spiral shape, although I'm not sure if we managed to do this right. No matter how square we tried to shape them they looked quite rounded, but whatever, they were still pretty good and finger licking. Of course we skipped the traditional glaze(as it's not our type of thing) and instead we glazed those buns with translucent quince jelly for keeping them shiny and served them with a puree of poached quinces. I know, I know, we've ruined the whole British classic, but it's really worth to try it.

Chelsea Buns Recipe:
  • 225gr strong white bread flour;
  • 25gr caster sugar;
  • 1/4 tsp salt (4 gr);
  • 25gr softened butter - this is for the dough;
  • 1 1/2 tsp fast action dried yeast (2 gr);
  • 1 medium egg, beaten;
  • 90ml warm semi-skimmed milk;
  • zest of one lemon;
  • 25gr butter really softened, but not melted - this is for the filling;
  • 65gr light muscovado sugar;
  • 115gr dried fruits (we used a mix of dry raisins, apricots, chokeberries and cranberries).
Combine the flour, sugar, lemon zest, salt and yeast into a mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the softened butter, egg and milk. Mix to make a soft dough.

Knead until smooth. Cover and prove until doubled in size.

Generously butter and line a 7” square tin.

Flour your work surface, and roll out the dough to a rectangle measuring about 12 x 9 inches. If you get the edges as square as you can it will help to make your buns look even.

Spread the softened butter as evenly as you can over the dough. Sprinkle the sugar and the dried fruits on top, and gently press it into the butter.

Now, roll up the dough along the long edge, as though you were making a Swiss Roll. Seal the edge. Turn the roll over so that the seal is underneath and divide the roll into 9 equal buns.

Place the buns, cut side down, into the buttered and lined tin, and leave to prove until the dough has doubled in size, and they have all joined together into one big Chelsea bun muddle.

Bake in a preheated to 180 C oven, for about 20 - 25 minutes. Once cooked, cool on a wire rack, and eat them as soon as you dare.


  1. beautiful picture, well done making these... I simply ran out of time this month!

  2. At least you have a pretty good reason, Dom, looking after Lucretia isn't an easy job (at least for me). So you've done great job this month too!

  3. I love the idea of a quince jelly glaze and it's fab to get the Bulgarian translation of a Chelsea bun. Yours looks so elegant on the plate. Mmmmm.

  4. Lovely looking--I really like the fact that all the FFTO members make the recipes a little differently. Your interpretation of a British classic is very refreshing.

    I'm Canadian (and British) and I live in Hong Kong.... I hadn't heard of Chelsea buns before this month, but they are a nice addition to my recipe collection. Would you make them again?

  5. Sally, I can't think of a bulgarian translation of these buns, we have them in a savoury variety, with white brine cheese, called milinka, but it's different.

    Sarah, I would like to try them again but in "adult's" version - with fruits soaked in rum. It would be good :)

  6. Fab picture. Glad you enjoyed making these buns.

  7. They look pretty spot on to me ;0)

  8. Yours are so arty! Love to see a different take on it. Glad you enjoyed a british classic.



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