Thursday, 13 December 2012

Sp-iced Buns

I came up with a lovely iced buns recipe a little while ago and one I've made again and again since. This time I thought I'd give them a more festive spin, throwing in a few spices and flavourings so typical of the jolly season. They are so good though I'll be making them all year round!

Prep time: 20 Minutes (Plus some time to prove and rise)
Baking time: 30 Minutes
15g Fresh Yeast 
30g Caster Sugar
100ml Warm Water  
100ml Milk
1/2tsp Vanilla Extract
1/2tsp Orange Extract
1/2tsp Lemon Extract
1tsp Mixed Spice 
315g Strong White Bread Flour 
1 Egg Yolk
A little vegetable oil
150g Icing Sugar 
2tbsp Lemon Juice

I think I love making bread the most. It's so much fun! Crumble the fresh yeast into a large bowl. Sprinkle in the sugar, pour over the water and stir together until the yeast has dissolved. Pour in the milk, followed by the extracts. Add the milk, egg yolk and flour, then with a wooden spoon work it together until it begins to form a dough. Tip the lot out onto a clean dry surface and knead for about 7 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Sprinkle with a little flour, cover with a damp tea towel and leave in a warm place for about 90 minutes, until doubled in size.

When the dough has nicely risen transfer it onto a fresh surface that has been lightly greased with vegetable oil. Knead briefly, then divide into eight. Shape each piece of dough into a bun and place into a medium baking tray (I used one that was about 26x19cm), that has also been lightly greased with a little oil. Cover again with the damp tea towel and leave for 30 minutes.

Place the tin in the oven and turn on to 190C/375F/Gas 5. The reason I do this as opposed to preheating is that I find it helps bake them evenly without them burning. After about 30 minutes, when they are a deep golden remove from the oven and whilst hot, turn out onto a wire rack. Cover a final time with a damp tea towel for 15 minutes, which should soften the crust, then remove and leave to cool completely.
For the icing sift the icing sugar into a bowl. Stir through the lemon juice until it's smooth and glossy. You can add a little more lemon juice if it's too thick. Spread over each of the buns and leave to set. See, I told you it was great fun!

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