|Posted by me on October 21, 2011 at 4:00 AM|
I love baking bread, the smell of it permeating through the house is one of lifes little pleasures and beating seven bells out of the dough is a great stress reliever. My gorgeous hubby on seeing my hand kneading efforts wanted to know why I wasn't using the dough hook on the machine and found it difficult to understand that sometimes it's just so much better to roll up the old sleeves and get stuck in and to leave the time saving machinery in the cupboard......
Today I thought i would make some gorgeous sticky iced buns, big and round with a cherry on the top... I had some white chocolate chunks and cranberries knocking about but you can put just about anything in them, chocolate chips with grated orange zest, raisins or other dried fruit or just leave them plain.
They are extremely simple to make but time consuming as they have to be left in a warm place for about an hour and a half so make sure you have something else to keep you occupied whilst they are proving, trust me your efforts will be worth it.
500g strong white bread flour
2 x 7g packets fastaction dried yeast or 30g fresh yeast
50g caster sugar
40g unsalted butter, softened
2 large free-range eggs
10g salt, be very accurate with this or it will kill the yeast, alternatively you can measure this with a measuring spoon but make sure you level the top
150ml lukewarm milk
150g of a mixture of white (or milk or plain) chocolate chips/small chunks and cranberries, the grated zest of two oranges with plain chocolate chips is also fab... experiment with different flavours or dried fruits!
For the icing and glazing
300g icing sugar
4 tablespoons apricot jam, warmed and sieved
6 glace cherries, halved
You will also need:
2 baking sheets, lined with baking paper; 2 large plastic bag, (very) lightly oiled
IMPORTANT.... You must seperate the salt and yeast onto different sides of the bowl to start as the salt will kill the yeast if it comes into direct contact, this is both fresh and dried....
1. Put all the ingredients for the dough into a large mixing bowl with 100ml warm water. Mix together with your hands until a dough is formed, the dough will be sticky at this point but should not be extremely wet, add a little more flour if needed.
2. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured worktop and knead well for 10 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Return to the bowl and cover with a large lightly oiled plastic bag or damp tea towel. Leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hour ( I use a small understairs cupboard where our computer is stored but try an airing cupboard or by a warm boiler or even just on top of your stove), the dough will have doubled in size.
3. Tip the dough out onto the very lightly floured worktop again and 'knock' the air bubbles out gently using your knuckles, divide into 12 equal pieces. Roll into balls , divide them between the baking sheets, leaving plenty of space around and between them to allow for spreading. Leave to rise n a warm place, covered with the oiled bags, for about 30minutes or until doubled in size. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F gas mark 7
Bake the buns for about 10 minutes, glaze with the warmed apricot jam then leave to cool on a wire rack.
5. For the icing, sift the icing sugar into a bowl. Gradually stir in boiling water to make a thick paste. place a spoonful on top of each bun and top with a 1/2 a glace cherry.