Chelsea buns

Chelsea buns

Chelsea Buns are traditional yeasted rolls that were first introduced in the 18th Century and are named after the “Old Chelsea Buns House“, that was actually located in the central London area of Pimlico. For obvious marketing reasons, those sweet treats have been later renamed as Chelsea Buns. It seems the German royalty was particularly keen on them and that kings Geroge II and III of Hanover, would visit the bun shop personally. Whatever the case, they are still very popular in modern bakeries at any time of the year and one of their peculiarities is that they are baked close to each another, with their sides slightly touching. In this way, when they are pulled apart, they keep a soft nice edge.

Chelsea buns are very similar to Cinnamon Rolls, the main difference being that Chelsea Buns may or may not contain cinnamon, while in Cinnamon Rolls currants are optional. Making these buns is not particularly complicated, bur as many yeasted products require a little patience and some manual skills that can be easily acquired with practice.



Chelsea buns

October 24, 2018
: makes 9 buns
: Medium
  • 500 gr strong bread flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1x 7gr sachet fast-acting dry yeast
  • 300 ml whole milk lukewarm
  • 40 gr unsalted butter
  • 1 medium free range egg
  • 25gr unsalted butter melted
  • zest finely grated of an orange
  • 75gr soft brown sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 150gr mixed dried fruit
  • 1-2 tbsp apricot jam
  • 100 powder sugar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • Step 1 Pour the lukewarm milk in a jug and melt the butter in it. Lightly beat in the egg
  • Step 2 In a big bowl put the flour and salt. Make a well in the centre and put the dry yeast, then pour the mixture of milk, butter and egg. Start mixing the ingredients, until you get all the flour from the bowl
  • Step 3 Transfer the dough on a work surface and knead until you obtain a smooth and elastic ball
  • Step 4 Place the dough in a lightly floured bowl, cover with cling film and leave to proof until double in size
  • Step 5 When ready, knock down the dough and roll into a rectangle 1/2cm thick and aprroximately measuring 30×20
  • Step 6 Spread the melted butter on top, then sprinkle the orange zest, sugar and cinnamon, finally scatter the dried fruit
  • Step 7 Roll the dough on the long side into a sausage shape and cut 9 thick rounds of about 4cm
  • Step 8 Place the buns in a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Make sure to leave a couple of centimeters between each of them, as they need to proof one more time for about 30min
  • Step 9 Preheat the oven at 190ºC and bake them for about 20-25min or until golden brown
  • Step 10 Warm the jam with a splash of water and glaze the buns
  • Step 11 When cooled, mix the icing sugar with water and drizzle on top of the buns

*Tips and notes*

  • Recipe adapted from here
  • For a zestier flavour, finely grate an orange zest and use orange juice instead of water to dilute the icing sugar for drizzling

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