buns & crackers

Below two recipes from the Best of Bake Off collection. I’ve watched this programme only occasionally but both the Chelsea buns and the crackers by Brendan Lynch are so tasty, that I am looking forward to having the time and energy to try the Key Lime pie too!

Chelsea buns

I used my bread-machine to make the dough, but I’m sure it’s eaqually easy kneading it by hand.

500g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
1tsp salt
1 x 7g sachet fact-action dried yeast
300ml milk
40g unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
1 free-range egg
vegetable oil, for greasing

For the filling
25g/1oz unsalted butter, melted
75g/3oz soft brown sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
150g/5oz dried mixed fruitIMG_7129

For the glaze
2 tbsp milk
2 tbsp caster sugar

Preparation method

Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl. Make a well in the middle and add the yeast.

Meanwhile, warm the milk and butter in a saucepan until the butter melts and the mixture is lukewarm.

Add the milk mixture and egg to the flour mixture and stir until the contents of the bowl come together as a soft dough. (You may need to add a little extra flour.)

Tip the dough onto a generously floured work surface. Knead for five minutes, adding more flour if necessary, until the dough is smooth and elastic and no longer feels sticky.

Lightly oil a bowl with a little of the vegetable oil. Place the dough into the bowl and turn until it is covered in the oil. Cover the bowl with cling film and set aside in a warm place for one hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.

Lightly grease a baking tray.

For the filling, knock the dough back to its original size and turn out onto a lightly floured work surface. Roll the dough out into a rectangle 0.5cm/¼in thick. Brush all over with the melted butter, then sprinkle over the brown sugar, cinnamon and dried fruit.

Roll the dough up into a tight cylinder , cut ten 4cm/1½in slice and place them onto a lightly greased baking sheet, leaving a little space between each slice.

IMG_7139Cover with a tea towel and set aside to rise for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 180ºC. Bake the buns in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until risen and golden-brown.

Meanwhile, for the glaze, heat the milk and sugar in a saucepan until boiling. Reduce the heat and simmer for 2-3 minutes.

Remove the buns from the oven and brush with the glaze, then set aside to cool on a wire rack.



Multi-seed savoury crackers

As I did not have any flax seeds today, I added some breakfast topping that Reynaldo uses on his cereal – the spices of my choice were pepper, turmeric and paprika. And yes, I did use a ruler, though I also cut thinner rectangles 2.5x10cm approx.

230g wholemeal flour
115g semolina
¾ tsp fine salt
55g sesame seeds
55g flax seed
55g pumpkin seeds – roughly ground
1 tbsp runny honey
3½ tbsp vegetable oil, plus extra for greasing
ground seeds or spices of your choice (optional)

Preparation method

In a large bowl, mix the wholemeal flour, semolina and salt together with the sesame, flax and ground pumpkin seeds.

IMG_7149In separate bowl, whisk 210ml water with the honey and oil. Stir in to the dry ingredients and mix to a medium-firm dough.

Knead the dough for five minutes. Return to the bowl, cover and set aside for 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 180ºC. Line 2-3 baking trays with non-stick parchment. Oil the work surface and roll the dough out to a thickness of 3mm.

Using a ruler and a sharp knife or pizza cutter, cut the dough into rectangles or diamonds, of approximately 5x15cm. Place on to the prepared trays close together, but not touching.

Spray the crackers with water. At this point you can add a topping if you wish (more ground seeds or spices). You can re-knead any left-over scraps, but they will not be as successful as first kneading. Alternatively, put the scraps on a tray and bake them for snacking.

Bake the crackers for 15-18 minutes. Turn the oven off, open the door for 30 seconds and close again. Leave the trays in the residual heat of the oven for 10-15 minutes for extra crispness. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

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