Enriched dough coiled round brown-sugared and spiced fruit. An Iconic British Bake de-glutened and brought into the 21st Century. Although not the speediest of makes, they are so worth it for the sheer joy of eating. Optional dairy free.
85goat flourFor a no oat version substitute with sorghum flour
70gsorghum flour or buckwheat flourFor the no oat version (as above) substitute this measure Sorghum with brown rice flour or buckwheat flour
5gfine sea salt= 1 level teaspoon
3gxanthan gum= 1 level teaspoon
20gDried ACTIVE YEASTThe type that needs activating (I use Allinson's) - NOT instant yeast
2 to 3 tsphoney(for preference) - or golden caster sugar
60ghand warm water
Psyllium Husk Hydration
3large eggs UK large (Canadian ‘Extra Large’; Australian ‘Jumbo’; and US ‘Extra or Very Large’)
28gground psyllium husk
100gfull fat milkif dairy free, use a rich plant-based milk alternative (eg. full fat coconut milk)
100ggolden caster sugaror ordinary caster sugar
50gunsalted butterOr a good DF alternative
200gfull fat milkif dairy free, use a rich plant-based milk alternative (eg. full fat coconut milk)
Chelsea Bun Fruit Filling
70gorange juiceto soak the fruit
1orange - zest onlyfinely grated
75gsoft light brown sugar
2 to 3tbspfull fat milk
1tbspsoft light brown sugar
Hydrating the fruit for the filling
Ahead of time, hydrate the fruit for the filling.
Weigh the dried fruit (cranberries, sultanas and apricots) into a medium bowl and add the orange juice.
leave to hydrate for 2 to 3 hours (or overnight) stirring intermittently, before thoroughly draining the juice from the fruit using a sieve.
Discard the drained juice.
Dry Flour Mix
Mix together the 4 flours, salt and xanthan gum until thoroughly blended. Set aside. TIP: Weigh into an airtight container and shake vigorously.
Weigh the yeast, honey (or sugar) and hand warm water into a small bowl. Make sure the water is tepid only, as if it is too hot, it will kill the yeast.
Beat together with a fork or whisk briefly to mix thoroughly and enable the yeast granules to dissolve.
Set aside for 5 to 10 minutes while the yeast activates. Yeast that has activated will appear frothy and may even bubble slightly.
Psyllium Husk Hydration
Beat the eggs in a large bowl with an electric whisk until they are just starting to thicken.
Add the psyllium husk to the eggs and beat again. The mixture should become thick enough to start holding shape.
Scrape down the bowl and re-whisk to ensure the psylium husk and eggs are well blended. Keep beating until the psyllium and egg become a thick, airy batter consistency.
Next add the 100g measure of milk and the vanilla extract and beat again to combine.
Set aside for 10 minutes to allow the psyllium husk to fully hydrate.
While the psyllium husk is hydrating, weigh the caster sugar, butter, 200g measure of milk and sunflower oil into a small saucepan.
Gently heat on the hob over a medium setting, stirring frequently until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved.
Remove from the heat and allow to cool a little. To cool more quickly, either transfer from the hot pan to a cool jug, or keep stirring in the pan to help the steam to escape.
Mixing the ingredients together to make a dough
When the hot milk has cooled a little (you should be able to touch it and it not feel too hot), add it little by little to the hydrated psyllium mixture in the bowl, whisking thoroughly between each addition.
Next add the activated yeast mixture and beat again to blend evenly.
Once fully blended, add the flour mix to the bowl.
Beat the flour into the wet ingredients with either a wooden spoon or electric beaters with a dough hook. Start slowly (to avoid the flour spraying out of the bowl).
Keep beating for several minutes to ensure the mixture becomes a very thick, even (but sticky) dough-batter.
Proof the Dough
Scoop the dough into a single heap and rest a sheet of clingfilm over the bowl (not touching the dough).
Set the bowl in a warm place to proof (rise) for about an hour. I set my bowl over another bowl with a little steaming water in the bottom (changing the water to refresh the warmth regularly).
Knocking back the dough
Once the dough has risen to about double the size, 'knock it back' by stirring and turning with a solid wooden/silicone spoon.
Rolling and filling the dough
Base line two x 9 inch round non-stick baking tins with baking parchment.
Place a large sheet of good quality non-stick baking parchment on the work surface and get ready a rolling pin by rubbing a light covering of oil (I use olive) onto the surface.
With lightly oiled hands (It really helps to wear tight-fitting vinyl food gloves) rubbed with a dribble of oil, divide the dough into two equal pieces.
Pick up one half and work in the hands, kneading until it comes together as a smooth workable dough. Do NOT add extra flour.
Place on the baking parchment, flatten slightly into a rectangle shape and using the oiled rolling pin, roll into a rectangle about 35 cm long x 25 cm wide. If the dough starts to stick to the pin, lightly re-oil.
In a bowl, mix the hydrated and thoroughly-drained fruit with the finely-grated orange zest, cinnamon and brown sugar.
Brush HALF of the melted butter across the whole surface of the rolled dough.
Next, scatter HALF of the fruit-sugar mixture across the top, leaving a 2 cm clean edge along one long side (to seal the final roll).
Rolling the dough into a long swirl
Turn the dough so that the long clean edge is closest to you.
Start the roll on the opposite, long fruited side by carefully turning in on itself by a couple of centimetres all the way along.
To continue to roll the dough up into a swirl, use the baking paper on the far side to help pull the dough to roll over itself, keeping the roll as tight as possible.
At the closest edge, gently push the clean edge into the roll to seal (if necessary dampen with milk to seal).
Cutting the dough into buns
Once the dough has been rolled into a long sausage shape, cut into 8 even sized rolls (trim the ends first if preferred for neatness and bake them separately as an extra treat). To cut, use either a very sharp, clean-bladed knife (lightly oiled is best), or if you feel confident, a piece of baker's string (gently lifting the end of the roll to position the string and then pulling tight across the top to cut through).
Arrange the dough balls into the base-lined baking tin (one in the centre, and the rest evenly spaced around it, swirl side up, with a small gap between each).
Preparing the second half of the dough
Once the first half of the dough has been filled, rolled and cut, repeat the process for the second half of the dough, starting with working/kneading the dough in the hands until smooth.
Proofing the buns for baking
Gently rest a piece of clingfilm over the top of the rolled dough-buns (they mustn't be restricted) and set aside in a warm place to rise for about an hour (depending on the warmth of the room). The buns should more or less double in size.
While the buns are rising, place a heat-proof dish or pan at the bottom of the oven and (when the buns look like they are almost ready to bake) pre-heat the oven to 180 C/350 F/Gas 4.
Boil a kettle of water ready to pour into the heat-proof dish in the oven.
Baking the buns
When the dough-buns are risen - very gently brush the tops all over with milk.
Half-fill the tray/dish placed in the base of the oven with boiled steaming water.
Bake the buns for 20 to 25 minutes (dependent on size) until the golden and firm on the tops.
While the buns are baking, prepare the sugar-glaze by heating and dissolving the brown sugar with the water either in a tiny dish in a microwave for a few seconds, or in a small pan on the stove.
When baked, remove the buns from the oven and cool for about 5 minutes on the tray, before transferring to a wire rack to continue cooling.
While still warm, brush the tops of the buns with brown-sugar glaze.
Eating and Storing
Chelsea Buns are delicious fresh and warm, but should still be quite soft for 24+ hours. To re-warm, pop in the microwave on high for about 15 seconds.
To store after they have cooled, make sure the buns are placed in an airtight container for maximum freshness.
To Freeze: Freeze on the day of making and as soon as possible after cooling in an airtight container. SEE NOTES re freezing the dough.
* Note: nutritional information is an estimate & may vary according to portion size/ingredient variants.Freezing the dough before baking - The dough-balls can also be frozen after the 1st prove, rolled into buns but before the second rise. Freeze separated on a baking tray in a bag (preferably fast-freeze) and once frozen, transfer to an airtight container (or sealed freezer bag) and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.When ready to bake, remove from the freezer, place on a baking tray lined with baking paper ready to bake as per recipe and defrost at room temperature. Allow to rise as normal in a warm place. (At room temperature the process of defrosting through to complete proof will take about 4 hours).Store in an airtight container.