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, lots of precautions and mindfulness. 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, it is a bond where 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
This dough recipe is one of my favorites. It is simple and it is actually a good one to start when you want to learn and feel working with dough.
- In a large bowl, combine all-purpose flour, salt, sugar and active dry yeast. Set aside.
- In a microwave-safe bowl, microwave together milk. butter and water until the butter melts. Stir together and reheat until the temperature reaches 105-115 F.
- Pour the butter mixture over the dry ingredients in the large bowl. Use a wooden spoon to stir them together. Add the egg and continue to stir. The dough is sticky at this stage. Sprinkle some flour from the reserved 1/2 cup to help with the stickiness while stirring, just until the dough gathers in the center of the bowl. You may not have to use the entire 1/2 cup. All you need is for the dough, still soft and moist, to gather into a ball.
- 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 will end up with a dough that is slightly tacky and elastic.
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.
- To test, take a small portion out. Using your fingers, spread the dough apart to form a little square. As you stretch, a translucent film will form in the center before the dough tears.
- Shape the dough into a ball. Allow it to rest in a bowl for ten minutes, covered.
- While the dough rests, make the topping. Stir together brown sugar, softened butter and cinnamon until the mixture turns into a thick paste. Spread half of this mixture on a 9 inch round baking pan.
- Top the paste with cherries all across the surface. Sprinkle half of the pecans evenly.
- Now after the dough rests, punch it down gently and use a rolling pin to roll it into a 14 x 8 inch rectangle.
- Spread the remaining brown sugar paste over the dough and top with raisins and the remaining pecans.
- Starting on the long side of the rectangle, roll the dough to form a tight log. Use a knife to cut the log into 11 or 12 portions. Lay each portion with the cut side down on the prepared baking pan.
- To let the rolls rise: Preheat the oven to 200 F. Once the temperature is achieved, turn off the oven and place the baking pan inside. Let the rolls rise for 60 minutes until it is has doubled in size.
- Take out the risen rolls and preheat oven to 350 F. Bake the rolls in the 350 F oven for 14-18 minutes, or until the top is lightly golden.
- Let the rolls cool until manageable enough to handle, then turn it over on a serving plate to reveal the pretty top.
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
For the Bread Dough
- 2 and 1/4 cup All-purpose flour, plus 1/2 cup reserved
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 and 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
- 1 large egg
- 3 tbsp butter
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup milk
Filling and Topping
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup butter softened
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 cup cherries
- 1/3 cup raisins
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans
Make the Bread Dough
In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 and 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, sugar, salt and yeast. Set aside. In a microwave-safe medium bowl, combine milk, butter and water. Heat this butter mixture in the microwave just until the butter melts. Stir and check the temperature. It should be within 105-115 F. Re-heat if necessary.
Add the milk mixture to the dry ingredients in the large bowl. Use a wooden spoon and stir all the ingredients together until the dry ingredients are moistened. Add the egg. Stir mixture well while gradually sprinkling some of the reserved 1/2 cup of flour over the mixture to help with the stickiness. Once a soft dough forms and gathers in the center, stop adding the flour. You may not need the entire 1/2 cup of flour.
Turn over the dough on a floured, clean surface. Knead for 8-12 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and can stretch thinly. Let it rest in a bowl, covered for 10 minutes.
Make the Topping/ Filling
Stir together brown sugar, softened butter and cinnamon until the mixture turns into a paste. Spread half of this mixture on a 9-inch round baking pan. Top the mixture with the cherries, arranging them evenly across the surface. Sprinkle half of the pecans. Set the pan aside.
Gently punch down the dough and roll it into a 14 x 8 inch rectangle. Spread the remaining brown sugar paste over the dough. Sprinkle the raisins and pecans evenly across the surface. Starting on the long side of the rectangle, roll the dough to form a tight log. Cut the logs into 11 or 12 equal portions and arrange each portion, cut side down over the topping in the baking pan. Space them evenly apart.
Preheat oven to 200 F. Once the temperature is reached, turn off the oven. Place the baking pan with the rolls inside the oven and let it rise inside for 60 minutes. Take out the rolls and preheat oven to 350 F. Bake the risen rolls for 14-18 minutes, or until the top is golden. Let cool slightly and turn the rolls over on a serving plate to expose the toppings. Serve.
Dough recipe adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction.
Did you make a recipe from the blog? Please tag me on my Instagram, I would like to see your creations!