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It's not always easy dragging kids away from screens and digital distractions but food can help, and this recipe for delicious dried fruit buns might just the be the thing to do it!
They are traditional British buns that were originally baked at the famous Bun House in London's Chelsea - hence the name! Kids will like them because they're fairly quick and straightforward to bake, plus you can enjoy them while they're still warm from the oven!
There's some strong debate about whether Chelsea Buns and Cinnamon Rolls are the same! These buns are not the same thing as cinnamon rolls. They have currants and sultanas in them, whereas cinnamon rolls usually don't. Also, cinnamon rolls originated in Sweden.
Kids of all ages can help with this recipe – with parental supervision, of course. Below is the list of ingredients you'll need to make your own delicious batch of golden buns.
450g strong bread flour
1 x 7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
50g caster sugar
1 egg, beaten
50g melted butter (and a little extra to grease your cake tin)
25g softened butter
1 tsp mixed spice
25g caster sugar
2 tbsp icing sugar
1. In a large mixing bowl, measure out the flour, yeast and sugar then mix these dry ingredients together.
2. Add a pinch of salt.
3. Pop the milk in the microwave for a few seconds to warm it gently, and then make a well in the dry ingredients, pour in the milk and mix together.
4. Next, melt the butter and add it to your bowl.
5. Finally, add the melted butter.
6. Give it a really good mix and then tip it out onto a clean, floured work surface and knead it until it's a soft dough that feels smooth and elastic. Then shape it into a ball. You can add a dollop of warm water if the dough feels a bit dry. If it's soggy, add a sprinkle of flour.
7. Take a clean bowl and grease it lightly with some melted butter. Pop the ball of dough inside and cover it with cling film. Leave to rise in a warm place in the kitchen until it has doubled in size. That should take about an hour.
8. Meanwhile, preheat the oven at 180C / 160C fan /gas mark 4.
9. Use melted butter to grease a baking tin.
10. Once the dough has risen, tip it out onto your floured work surface and shape it into a rectangle.
11. Next, take the softened butter and spread it over the dough.
12. Pop your dried fruit in a bowl and add the sugar and mixed spice. Mix it all together and spoon this on top of the buttery dough. If you like orange zest, you can add some to the mixture.
13. Starting at the longest side of your dough rectangle, roll it up like a Swiss roll.
14. Slice it into 8 pieces and arrange them in your greased baking tin with the cut side facing upwards.
15. Leave the buns to prove by covering the tin with a clean, damp tea towel and leaving it in a warm corner of the kitchen until the buns have doubled in size. This will take about half an hour.
16. Pop the tin in the oven to bake for about 20 minutes until they're golden brown.
17. To make the glaze, simply mix 1 tbsp of water with the icing sugar to make sticky icing and pour it over the buns as soon as you take them out of the oven.
18. Leave the buns to cool for about 10 minutes and then enjoy them hot from the oven or pop them in a tin and enjoy cold later on – if there are any left!
A common complaint with this type of recipe! Next time, try adding a splash more milk or a little bit more water.
These delicious delights definitely taste best eaten fresh but you can store them in an airtight container for up to 2 days. You can always pop them in the oven to warm them through if you're eating them a day or so after they were baked. These freeze well, too.
If you don't want to use milk to make these, perhaps because of a milk allergy, just use a milk substitute such as soya milk.
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