Chelsea Buns

The Chelsea bun, a top UK dessert,  was first baked in the 18th century at the Bun House in Chelsea. This establishment was favoured by Hanoverian royalty. Unfortunately, the Bun House no longer exists having been demolished in 1839.

To honour WDP 2022 writing countries, and Mother’s Day, Nancy Weir shares her mother’s recipe for Chelsea buns.  Thank you, Nancy, for also sharing the dairy-free breadmaker recipe for Chelsea buns.

 Chelsea Buns (Barbara Weir)

 Sweet Dough:

½ cup warm water

1 tsp sugar

2½ tsp traditional yeast

½ cup milk

¼ cup sugar

½ tsp salt

¼ cup butter

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 egg, at room temperature, beaten

Topping:

6 Tbsp butter

½ cup packed brown sugar

½ cup whole pecans

⅓ cup glace cherries, cut in half

Filling:

¼ cup butter

½ cup packed brown sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1 cup pecans, finely chopped

Sprinkle yeast into lukewarm water in which the 1 tsp of sugar has been dissolved. Let stand 10 minutes and then stir. Warm the milk in the microwave until little bubbles just begin to form around the edge.

Add ¼ cup sugar, butter, and salt. Add dissolved yeast and stir well. Add half the flour and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon until dough is smooth and elastic. Add beaten egg and mix well. Add enough flour to obtain a soft dough that will not stick to the bowl.

Turn out on a lightly floured board and knead until smooth and satiny, 8 to 10 minutes. Place dough in a warm large bowl, greased; turn dough over to grease surface well. Cover with greased waxed paper and a clean cloth. Let rise until double in bulk in a warm place, about 1 hour. Punch dough down. Cover and let rest 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare two 8-inch pans with topping ingredients: melt 3 Tbsp butter in each pan in the oven and stir ¼ cup brown sugar into each pan. Place the whole pecans and cherries on top. Set aside.

On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 15 by 18-inch rectangle. Spread dough with butter and sprinkle on brown sugar and cinnamon.

Sprinkle finely chopped pecans on top. Roll up along the long side jelly-roll style; pinch edges together to seal. Cut into 1” slices and place cut side up on top of mixture in pans. Cover and let rise in a warm place until almost doubled in size about 50-60 minutes.

Bake at 350°F for 25-35 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans while still warm; turn out upside down onto large plate.

 

Dairy-Free Breadmaker Chelsea Buns (Nancy Weir)

Sweet Dough:

1 cup plus 1 Tbsp water

¼ cup sugar

1 tsp salt

3 Tbsp canola oil

1 egg

3 cups all-purpose flour

2½ tsp breadmaker or rapid rise yeast

Topping:

6 Tbsp dairy-free margarine

½ cup packed brown sugar

½ cup whole pecans

Filling:

¼ cup margarine

½ cup packed brown sugar

1½ tsp cinnamon

1 cup pecans, finely chopped or 1 cup raisins or currants, soaked and patted dry

Place the sweet dough ingredients, in the order listed, in the bread pan fitted with the kneading paddle. Place the bread pan in the breadmaker. Select the Dough Setting and 1.5 lb. loaf. Press Start.

Prepare two 8-inch pans (round or square) with topping ingredients: melt 3 Tbsp margarine in each pan in the oven. Stir ¼ cup brown sugar into each pan and spread evenly over the pan. Place whole pecans on top. Set aside.

When breadmaker cycle is complete, remove dough, punch down and let rest 10 minutes.

On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 12 by 20-inch rectangle. For the filling, spread dough with margarine and evenly sprinkle on brown sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle chopped pecans, raisins, or currants on top. Roll up tightly from the long side, stretching dough as you do and then pinch long edge together to seal. Cut into 1” slices and place cut side down on top of mixture in pans. Cover and let rise in a warm place until almost doubled in size about 50-60 minutes.

Bake at 350°F for 25-35 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans while still warm; turn out upside down onto large plate.

Chelsea bun history resources:

https://www.webstaurantstore.com/blog/2650/traditional-british-bakes.html

Alan Davidson “Bun” in The Oxford Companion to Food Oxford University Press, 1999, p. 114 ISBN 0-19-211579-0

 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *