Christmas breakfast – hard to beat this soft egg-and-butter enriched dough, prepared into rolls the night before, and left in a cold place overnight to prove ever so slowly.
Or … you could use a plain white bread dough, rolled, sprinkled with cinnamon, brown sugar, and sultanas; rolled Swiss roll style, and cut into slices. They’re good … but this is better.
- 250ml (8 fl oz) milk
- 75g (3oz) butter
- 1½ tbsp dried active baking yeast (1 sachet of dried yeast)
- 100g (4 oz) caster sugar
- 550g (1lb 5oz) plain flour (at least – I usually need to add a good bit more to get a reasonable dough that comes together, but is still VERY soft.)
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 eggs
- Filling #1
- 115g (4oz) brown sugar
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 75g (3oz) raisins or sultanas
- Filling #2
- 225g (8oz) brown sugar
- 2½ tbsp cinnamon
- 1 tbsp plain flour
- 5 tbsp very soft butter or margarine
- 75g (3oz) raisins or sultanas (or chopped nuts, ground almonds, … or even chocolate chips?)
- Glaze (optional – if you like your buns really sticky and sweet; I do not.)
- 1 tsp golden syrup
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 150g (5oz) sifted icing sugar
- 2 tbsp single cream
- Warm the milk in a saucepan until it just bubbles, remove from the heat, and add the butter. Stir until it is melted, and cool until lukewarm.
- Put the milk and butter into a large bowl, add one spoonful of the sugar, and sprinkle on the yeast; let it sit for 10 minutes until it is frothy.
- Add most of the flour (about 1lb, 450g), the rest of the sugar, salt and eggs. Stir well to combine. Add the remaining flour, a bit at a time, stirring well after each addition. Add more flour if necessary to get a dough that holds together; you want it very soft and supple, but not too wet and sticky. When it has come together, knead the dough for about 10 minutes, until it is smooth and supple.
- If you’re using a sachet of instant yeast, put 450g of the flour, eggs, sugar, salt, milk and butter into a bowl; sprinkle on the yeast. Stir well, and add more flour as required.
- Lightly oil a large mixing bowl, and turn the dough in it to coat. Cover (with cling film, or something) and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume; at least 1 hour.
- Knock the dough back, and turn it on to a lightly floured surface. Roll into a rectangle. How big? Your call – a long thin rectangle will give you lots of small buns, rich with filling; a shorter fatter/broader rectangle will give you larger buns, and more chance to appreciate the richness of the bread. Lightly brush the far edge with water.
- For the first, simple filling, just combine the cinnamon and 115g brown sugar and sprinkle over the dough. Then sprinkle on the raisins or sultanas.
- For the second filling (a wee bit richer), mix the dry ingredients. Spread the dough evenly with butter. Sprinkle over the dry mix and the raisins or sultanas evenly
- Roll the dough into a log, seal the seam, and cut into equal pieces; place them on a greased baking tray/tin. Cover with cling film or similar. Leave them somewhere cold – the fridge or outside (on the balcony/by the back door) to rise overnight.
- Next morning, preheat the oven to 190C/400F/Gas Mark 5. Take the rolls into the kitchen, and let them stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden.
- To cook “immediately”, leave the tray in a warm place for an hour, and bake as described.
- To glaze, mix the ingredients together, and spread over the buns immediately they come out of the oven.