There really is nothing quite like the experience of baking bread yourself at home, from the tactile pleasure of kneading and shaping of the soft, elastic dough to the nervous anticipation as you break into the warm crisp crust of a freshly made loaf for the first time. It is one of my favourite things to bake and from wholemeal loaves, to sweet and sticky white buns every bread I make fills me with great pride.
These buttermilk buns are rich, satisfying and an ideal introduction for anyone making a sweet dough for the first time. They are also very versatile and can be enjoyed on their own, or smeared with a variety of butters, jams, curds or spreads. You can even toast and serve them with vanilla ice cream or slice and butter them, cover them with custard and bake for a super indulgent bread and butter pudding. I might do that myself today!
Prep time: 20 Mins
Baking time: 20-25 Mins
15g Fresh Yeast
50g Caster Sugar
60ml Warm Water
300g Strong White Bread Flour
150ml Buttermilk (At room temperature)
A handful of Dried Vine Fruit
For the crust
25g Unsalted Butter (Melted)
25g Caster Sugar
Begin by crumbling the fresh yeast into a large mixing bowl, along with the caster sugar. Pour in the warm water and mix with a mini whisk or fork until the yeast has mostly dissolved. Add the flour, salt and buttermilk, followed by the vine fruit then mix with a wooden spoon until the dough just starts to come together. Tip the loose dough out onto a lightly floured surface.
Bring the dough together with your hands then knead for around 7 minutes, stretching the dough out, folding it back on itself, turning by a quarter and repeating. The dough will start off relatively tacky but keep at it and it will eventually become smooth and elastic. Dust the dough with flour, place in a large, clean bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and place in a warm place for about 90 minutes, until doubled in size.
Once the dough has risen return it to a fresh, lightly floured surface and knead briefly for 1 minute, knocking any air from the dough. Divide equally into six, shape into balls and place on a clean, lightly greased surface. Cover with a sheet of lightly greased cling film and leave for 25 minutes, just so they can rise again. After about 15 minutes, preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas
Carefully transfer each bun to a baking sheet that's been lightly greased with a little butter. Brush each bun all over with melted butter and sprinkle over the caster sugar. Bake in the centre of the oven for 20-25 minutes, until brown and that's the buns done. Congratulations!