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Chelsea Buns

Adapted from Bernard Clayton's New Complete Books of Breads
It was a weekday night,  one of those nights that I didn't have my conference luck!

There I was thinking about my bread making again. Been wanting to try Chelsea Buns for a long while, saw those raisins filled bread,  that are square in shape,  I was amazed at the beautiful colour that others have done.  Chelsea Buns originated from London,  Chelsea Bun House, even the Royal family eats them.  Something that fits the Royal family must be something that's worth trying....So,  here goes....

Ingredients (this is half of what is stated in Bernard Clayton's book)


Bread Flour - 125g
Instant Yeast - 4g
Sugar - 4 g
Milk Powder - 40 g
Water - 82g
Egg - 1 - 60g

Salt - 3 g
Bread Flour - 125g
Butter 50g

Raisins - a bunch
Sugar - 1 tbsp
Cinnamon - 1 tbsp
Butter - enough to brush on the final dough

Sugar - 1 tbsp
Milk - 1 tbsp
Vanilla extract - 1 drop

1.   Mix the sponge together,  and leave aside to ferment for about 40 minutes.

2.   Mix in the Dough with the sponge,  blend well and knead.  Leave the butter till the end.  I melted the butter so that its easier to add in.  You will get a silky dough. 

3.   Leave dough to rise, till double,  about 1 hour.  I left it in my oven which was still warm from some other use.  This helped to hasten the process a little. 

4.    Slowly pull the dough off when ready.  Stretch out the dough into an oblong shape (suppose to be a 10 inc by 18 inc piece with double the amount).  I can never figure out how to covert inch to cm.  I just spread it out gently,  without breaking,  till I felt it was probably about 1/2 cm thick.  I felt I spread it a little too thin.

5.    Brush the dough with the melted butter for the filling,  sprinkle with sugar,  sprinkle with ground cinnamon ( you can add more of these if you like it sweet and with lots of cinnamon),  and spread the raisins.  (I've seen other recipes adding in candied fruits,  sultanas).  I only had my raisins.

6.    Roll it like a swiss roll gently without breaking the dough.  Roll it a little more to seal. (recipe suggest adding water to the dough to seal the dough).  

7.    Using a sharp knife now (I always use my steak knife),  and cut about 2 cm (suppose to cut up to 1 inch).  I divided it up to 14 pieces.  They turn out to be relatively small,  bite size,  but it was ok,  as the family doesn't like sweet stuff.  During cutting,  the raisins may start dropping off,  its ok. Just pop them into your mouth.  Yum yum..  The round dough may be a little out of shape,  gently get it into a circular shape.

8.    Oil or butter the pan.  I used by square aluminium baking pan. I think it is 9 by 9.  Remember, the butter should be sufficient so that it does not stick to the pan.  I placed 9 pieces in 1 pan,  slightly apart from each other.  The rest in another pan.

9.    Cover and let proof for about 40 minutes ( the bread now spread out and touching each other).

10.  Heat up oven at 200 degrees ceclsius.  Bake for 20 minutes. Before baking, brush the dough with butter.  I found that by brushing the butter after 10 minutes of baking seems to get better results of the golden brown colour.

11.  In the meantime,  mix the glaze together.  I add them all up and put on a pan of hot water.  This is so easy as the sugar melted. 

12.  When the bread is ready,  you will see that it had taken the form of the pan, each bread spread nicely to form a square shape.  Quickly brush the glaze over the bread when it is out of the dough. You get a bright shining golden brown Chelsea Bun.  Hmmmm,  if I have powdered sugar,  it'll be perfect.

13.  After 15 minutes - take one and pop into your mouth,  the hands will be sticky and all....but its ok,  its "finger licking good"...

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