Thursday, September 26, 2013

Who Doesn't Love Buns!?!

I'm not talking booty buns here...don't get me wrong...I like a nice set of buns too, but I'm talking Chelsea buns, cinnamon rolls and any other variation of the bun.  They are not only delicious, but they are also the perfect excuse to have sweets for breakfast and nobody is going to look at you funny.
Date & Apricot Chelsea Buns
This week I finished up the enriched yeast dough section with the preparation of Chelsea buns.  You are probably wondering, what the heck are Chelsea buns, well according to wikipedia "The Chelsea bun is a type of currant bun that was first created in the 18th century at the Bun House in Chelsea (a region in the UK) an establishment favored by Hanoverian royalty...".  I know, I am such a nerd.  I love to learn about the origins of classic baked goods, but basically, instead of a cinnamon and sugar filling it's filled with currants, brown sugar and citrus zest.

I'm not sure exactly where the grocery stores are hiding all the currants, but for the life of me I could not find a single currant anywhere (if anyone knows where they are sold please leave a comment!!).  So instead, I decided to change it up and use some chopped dates and apricots, which were a very tasty combination.
Bun Dough Preparation
But before you can move on to the easy part of filling and rolling you have to work those arm muscles and prepare the dough...or you can cheat and use your Kitchen Aid with the hook attachment!!  Much like the brioche dough from my last post, the ingredients were pretty basic and are staples found in any well stocked baking pantry: flour, yeast, sugar, salt, milk, eggs and butter.

I started by making a well in the sifted flour and combining the yeast with some warm milk.  Once the yeast became active (bubbly and puffed up) the rest of the ingredients were combined and turned out onto my counter for kneading.  Once the dough became elastic, shiny and smooth it was set in a lightly greased bowl covered with plastic wrap until it doubled in size.
Chelsea Bun Mise En Place
While the dough was proofing I assembled ingredients for my mise en place.  This recipe consisted of chopped dates and apricots, brown sugar and orange zest.  **Side note, this rolling pin is one of my favorite tools in my kitchen because it was personalized with the words "Made with Love ~ Danielle" and given to me by my really great friend, Lina Alicia of Punch-Drunk Style who is not only very stylish, but also very thoughtful...check out her site!**
Punch it, Roll it, Fill it, Roll it & Cut it
This dough is so delicious and versatile.  The combination of the dates, apricots and orange zest gave it a flavor very similar to Italian panettone bread.  Today my mom and I were brainstorming filling flavors and we both began to drool when we talked about filling the dough with chopped almonds and almond paste! YUM!!  Baking is a science after all so experiment!!
Breakfast is Served
I would love to hear your ideas for some filling flavor combos...I definitely see the almond/almond paste variation in my future!!  Have a great weekend.

Happy Baking,
Dani xoxo