Jane Austin, Good Friday & The Chelsea Bun!

One of my lasting childhood memories was the tradition of home baked Chelsea Buns at Easter, so guess its my turn to pass onto the next generation and have a go myself.

Doing some research, it seems in Jane Austin’s time, the Chelsea Bun was a favourite treat and if you were lucky enough to live in London, ‘The Bun House’ was the place to go as they were apparently invented at this fine establishment, with crowds of 1000’s milling outside waiting to purchase some.

Looking for a suitable recipe I turned to The Great British Book of Baking. There are some lovely recipes in this book and particularly one for Chelsea Buns. So where is my Kenwood Chef?

The Chelsea Bun is a simple rolled dough, risen with yeast and filled with dried fruit and spices. Tradition seems to suggest early versions used Lemon Peel, cinnamon and spices to provide a nice sweet spicy flavour. Brushed with cold water and sugar, a sticky glaze covers the top.
I allowed an hour for rising, parking the bowl by our open fire to provide some needed warmth, its rather cold for this time of year! Thinking of the lemon peel, I also decided to soak the dried fruit in some lemon juice as an experiment, and added a decent quantity of mixed spice too.
On the cooling rack!

The dough is left to rise once rolled, and layered with the fruit and sugar, after brushing with melted butter to act as a glue. Cut into strips and placed into a suitable baking tray for a second rise and then into the oven for baking.

About 5 minutes before the end, brush with a mixture of honey, castor sugar and milk, i decided to replace the milk with lemon juice to add a bit of zing.
They are truly delicious and worth the effort, and you know what has gone into making them, they look home made and no artificial’s in this recipe.
Happy Easter everyone……

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