Landscape (UK)

Jonathan Overton’s Sally Lunn buns


Makes 2 buns

15g compressed baker’s yeast

25g caster sugar 400g strong white bread flour

1 large egg

35g salted butter, at room temperatur­e, plus extra for greasing ¾ tsp table salt cured salt beef and salad, to serve baking paper

2 x 14cm baking rings 2 large pudding basins

Warm a mixing bowl by filling it with hot water and then emptying it. Place the yeast, sugar and 50ml of warm water in the bowl. Whisk thoroughly, using a balloon whisk. Take a small handful of the flour and add to the mixture, then whisk again and leave in a warm place for approximat­ely 20 mins. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg, then set aside. Grease and line an oven tray with baking paper, then grease the baking rings and place on the tray. In another mixing bowl, sift the remaining flour and salt several times to distribute the salt evenly. Add the butter, then mix by hand until it resembles breadcrumb­s. Add the egg, then repeat the process.

Once the yeast mixture has thickened and bubbled, add this to the flour mixture and combine well by hand to bring the dough together. Pour in another 50ml of warm water, a little bit at a time; each time, pulling and stretching the dough and folding it over. The dough should be sticky, but not stick to the hands. A little flour can be added, if necessary. On a clean kitchen surface, turn out the dough and keep pulling, stretching and folding it until smooth. Cut into 4 pieces, then combine again. Repeat this 15-20 times; pulling, stretching and folding between each division. Halve the dough, then mould gently to form 2 balls. Leave, covered by a warm, damp cloth, for 10 mins.

Fill the 2 large pudding basins with boiling water and leave to warm. Take the dough balls and bang them gently on the table, then mould them as before. Place each one on the tray, squashed down slightly, inside the 2 rings. Empty the pudding basins and place them over each dough ball. Leave in a warm place for 2-3 hrs. The buns are ready when they have filled the rings and risen. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas mark 6 and bake the buns for 10-15 mins until golden. Serve, topped with cured salt beef and a side of salad.

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