PEAR AND RAISIN CHELSEA BUNS
Preparation 40 minutes, plus rising and standing Cooking 30 minutes Makes 7 Choose the ripest pears that you can find for this delicious Chelsea bun filling.
FOR THE FILLING 2 pears, peeled, cored and chopped 100g raisins 75ml Calvados or pear brandy 35g butter, softened 50g soft brown sugar FOR THE DOUGH 220ml whole milk 50g butter 400g white bread flour 7g fast-action dried yeast 45g golden caster sugar 10g fine salt 1 egg, beaten TO BAKE/GLAZE 1 egg, beaten 3 tbsp sieved apricot jam 3 tsp demerara sugar
1 To make the filling, tip the pears, raisins and Calvados or pear brandy into a small bowl and set aside to soak. 2 To prepare the dough, gently warm the milk in a pan, then stir in 50g butter; once it has melted, remove from the heat. Mix the flour, yeast, caster sugar and salt together in a large mixing bowl, then stir in the warm milk and beaten egg. Tip the dough onto a floured surface and knead for 5-10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Brush a clean bowl with oil, sit the dough inside and cover with a tea towel. Leave in a warm place to rise until doubled in size. 3 Knock the dough back on a flour-dusted surface, then roll out to a 20cm x 30cm rectangle – about the size of an A4 sheet of paper. For the filling, use the back of a spoon to spread the softened butter out evenly onto the dough, then scatter over the soaked fruit and brown sugar. Roll the dough into a Swiss roll shape from one of the long sides, then cut into 7 pinwheels. Line a large tray with baking parchment and arrange with a 1cm gap between each bun. Cover with a tea towel and leave for a second prove – until roughly doubled in size again. 4 Heat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan oven) gas mark 6. Brush the buns with beaten egg and bake on the middle shelf for 20-25 minutes until golden. While they are cooling, heat the jam in a small pan until runny, then brush over the buns. Sprinkle over the demerara sugar and leave for 15 minutes. They will keep for a few days in an airtight container, but you can’t beat them just baked.