Chelsea Buns are your festive, colorful cinnamon rolls with all the delightful add-ons like raisins, pecans and cherries.
Baking bread to me was once fearful and intimidating. One that needs to be tackled with extra care and lots of precautions. But like gaining a new friend, easing from an awkward stage of a relationship to a more relaxed, familiar one, I have gained a wonderful bond with baking bread.
And it is not a perfect one, as you might think. It is the kind of bond where I mess up and make mistakes. But most importantly, I play around and have fun.
Ever since, I have approached bread making with less rigidity, and in a more relaxed manner. It is playing with dough basically. And just like with any friendship, you only need to feel the dough and be one with it.
Today, we are starting the #breadseries this September with these Chelsea Buns. These gems are a sweet, festive take on regular cinnamon rolls. Topped with a sweet glaze in place of a cream cheese icing, and studded with cherries and pecans they scream of celebration, or maybe of romance.
Whatever it is, it is far from plain and ordinary. These Chelsea buns are truly special treats.
How to Make Chelsea Buns?
Mixing the Dough
In a large mixing bowl, stir together active dry yeast, warm water and about a teaspoon of the sugar. Let this stand for 5 minutes or so, or until the yeast has turned foamy.
Add the milk, melted butter, remaining sugar, salt and egg. Stir everything with a wooden spoon until incorporated.
Add half of the 2 ¼ cup all-purpose flour and stir until combined. Add the remaining half of the flour and stir until the mixture starts to form a dough.
Add half of the 2 ¼ cup all-purpose flour and stir until combined. Stir in the remaining half of the flour until the mixture starts to form a dough.
Gradually add more flour from the reserved amount as needed, just until the dough starts to gather in the center of the bowl.
Kneading and First Rise
Use the remaining flour to dust a working surface. Turn the dough over and knead for 8-12 minutes until the dough is smooth and has lost a lot of its stickiness. You can dust the surface and your hands as needed.
You will end up with a dough that is slightly tacky but elastic. Shape the kneaded dough into a ball, and place it in a bowl. Cover loosely with a clean towel for 1 ½ hours, or until the size is doubled.
The Filling and Topping
Stir together brown sugar, softened butter and cinnamon until the mixture turns into a paste. Spread half of this mixture to the bottom of a 9 inch round pan.
Arrange the sliced cherries and half of the chopped pecan all over the brown sugar paste.
Rolling out and Assembly
Once the dough has risen, gently deflate it. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a rectangle that is ½ inch thick. Spread the remaining brown sugar mixture all over the dough using an angled spatula.
Sprinkle the raisins and the remaining pecans on top.
Starting on the long edge, roll the dough tightly into a log. Cut the log into 1 inch portions, to yield about 10 slices. Arrange the rolls in the round pan, spacing them evenly.
Loosely cover the pan with a clean kitchen towel and allow to rise for 40 minutes to 1 hour , or until they rolls are soft and puffy.
Bake at 350 F for 20 minutes.
The tops are lightly golden. Allow the bread to cool for a few minutes, then turn it over on a rimmed plate. Enjoy warm!
How to Knead?
- Using the heels of your palms, push the dough downwards and away from you, as if you are trying to flatten it. Fold it over itself and repeat the pushing motion, then fold again.
- Repeat the process. If necessary, add a little bit of flour as you knead to help with the stickiness. The goal is to knead until the dough is smooth and only slightly tacky.
And here it is! That sweet, brown sugar topping is totally heaven to me. Each bun is a complete treat of sweetness, decadence and crunch. All the special things around and inside a soft, delicious bread.
You need to try this. Next week, I will be here again for another delicious bread recipe. Meanwhile, play with dough and make these ultimately delicious Chelsea Buns.
Love baking bread? Try these:
- Milk Bread
- Japanese Milk Buns
- Coconut Bread
- Coconut Buns with Milky Sweet Filling
- Austrian Buchteln
- Chocolate Brioche
- Cream Cheese Brioche
- Chocolate Walnut Bread
- Sweet Cheese Rolls