Chelsea Buns

5/5 - (1 vote)

Chelsea Buns are a lovely, fruit-filled bread, traditionally baked close together so that they join up in baking. I read lots of recipes before deciding what ingredients to use.  Some use mixed dried fruit, others sultanas, raisin, apricots, cherries and any number of other fruits.  I eventually decided to try to make something that resembled what I used to eat as a child.  That is one with mixed dried fruit.

The recipe takes a little time as there are several different steps, and time is needed to rest the dough as well. But the time taken is well worth it, when they come out of the oven, the aroma filling the room.  If all has turned out ok, you then cover the buns will some jam to make a nice sticky top, and finally some icing is dripped over the buns.  All in all these really are a lovely accompaniment to a nice cup of tea, or coffee.  I am only guessing that they will go well with coffee, as I don’t like it, so never drink it.

Chelsea Buns
Chelsea Bun – close up
For the dough:
  • 500g/1lb 2oz strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 x 7g sachet fast-acting yeast
  • 300ml/10fl oz milk
  • 40g/1½oz unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing the tin
  • 1 free-range egg
  • vegetable oil, for greasing
For the filling:
  • 25g/1oz unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 orange, zest only, grated
  • 75g/2½oz soft brown sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 300 g10½oz mixed dried fruit
For the topping:
  • 1 tbsp of apricot jam(or similar)
  • 150g icing sugar
  • 1 to 2 tbsp orange juice
  1. Place the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl and stir until thoroughly combined. Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour in the yeast.
  2. Warm the milk and butter in a small saucepan until the butter is melted and the mixture is lukewarm. Pour into the flour mixture, add the egg and stir thoroughly until the contents of the bowl come together as a soft dough.
  3. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead well for five minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic. You can do these first 3 steps in a stand mixer if you wish.
  4. Place the dough into an oiled bowl and leave to rise, covered with a damp tea towel, for one hour or until doubled in size.
  5. Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Roll out dough into a rectangle about 40x30cm/16×12 inches.
  6. Mix the cinnamon in with the sugar, then add the mixed fruit in as well.
  7. Brush the rolled out dough all over with the melted butter. Evenly sprinkle the orange zest over the buttered surface, followed by the combined mixture.
  8. Roll the  long side of the dough towards you quite tightly, until the roll is complete and tight. With a sharp knife cut into thick rounds – you should get about 12.  To assist with the rolling you can press one long edge of the dough onto the work surface, to hold it in place whilst rolling.
  9. Grease a deep roasting tin or baking tray thoroughly with butter.
  10. Place the buns, cut side up, into the greased baking tray leaving about ½in of space between each one. As they prove again before baking they will join up nicely.
  11. Leave to rise for about 30 minutes in a warm place.
  12. Preheat oven to 190C/170C Fan/375F/Gas 5.
  13. Bake for  the buns for 20-25 minutes until golden-brown. If they start to brown too much place some tin foil over the top.
  14. Remove the buns from the oven and let them cool slightly before transferring them from the tin to a cooling rack.
  15. Melt the jam in a small saucepan with a splash of water until smooth. Brush the jam over the buns to glaze and allow to cool.
  16. Mix together the icing sugar, and orange juice to make the icing, that you can drip, or pipe over the cooled buns.
  17. Eat and enjoy.

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