Saturday 4 May 2013

Bath Buns Recipe

I really couldn't resist making this recipe available. Bath buns have been prepared in the city of Bath, England since at least the late 18th century and I have found similar recipes going back to Elizabethan times.

This, of course, is a modern recipe, but I am always fascinated by foods with a long history. I also adore baking, particularly if it's yeast-based and these small tea-time buns are a real delight to prepare.

Bath Buns

Serves: 16
Bath Buns: Classic yeasted fruity buns with a glaze and a coating of crushed lump sgar


For the Buns:

450g (1 lb) strong, white bread flour
60g (2 oz) caster sugar
1 tsp salt
1 sachet (7g) active, dried, yeast
150ml (3/5 cup), about, lukewarm milk
60g (2 oz) butter, melted and cooled
1 egg
2 egg yolks
150g (5 oz) sultanas
90g (3 oz) mixed peel, chopped
oil for greasing

For the Topping:

1 egg, beaten
30g (1 oz) nibbed sugar or sugar cubes, coarsely crushed


Combine the flour and sugar in a large bowl then stir in the salt and yeast. Beat together the egg and egg yolks in a bowl.

Form a well in the flour mix and add the milk, butter, egg mix, sultanas and mixed peel. Mix these ingredients into the flour to form a soft dough.

Turn this dough onto a lightly-floured work surface and knead until smooth and elastic. Shape the dough into a round and transfer to an oiled bowl. Cover with clingfilm (plastic wrap) and set aside to rise in a warm place for between 60 and 90 minutes, or until doubled in volume.

Turn the dough onto a lightly-floured work surface and knock back. Knead the dough for about 3 minutes or until smooth and elastic then divide into 18 pieces. Lightly grease 2 baking trays, shape the dough into rolls and arrange on the baking trays (allow plenty of room for expansion). Cover loosely with oiled clingfilm and leave to rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes or until doubled in volume.

Brush the tops of the buns with the beaten egg and sprinkle over the sugar. Transfer to an oven pre-heated to 190ºC (375ºC, Gas Mark 5) and bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Like all breads, the bases of the buns will sound hollow when rapped with your finger when they are ready. Transfer to a wire rack to cool before serving.

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