Chelsea Buns are Britain's answer to the North American cinnamon rolls. Made in a similar manner . . . but filled with butter, currants, chopped peel and mixed spice, (a mixture of sweet baking spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg,ginger, coriander and allspice.)
I have seen them with candied cherries added as well, but we prefer ours without. I've also seen them glazed with an icing sugar glaze, but . . . once again, we prefer ours much more simple than that.
These tasty buns were first created in a bakery in the Chelsea area of London, known as the Bun House back in the 18th century. Known to have been favoured by the Hanoverian Royalty (The German branch of the Royal family which preceeded the Windsors which sit on the throne today.) the Bun House has long since been torn down . . . pity that . . .
I have always shied away from making my own yeast breads. I just don't have the oomph or patience for all that kneading, but with the luxury of having a bread machine, that is not a problem these days!
While I would not place these in the same category of deliciousness as a homemade cinnamon bun . . . they are definitely not to be sneered at, and they did go down rather exceedingly well warm from the oven and smeared with some butter, along with a nice fresh cup of hot chocolate.
Next time I will add more fruit and butter in the middles though. . . coz I like lots of fruit in my buns . . . oh, umm . . . and lots of butter too. I was rather fond of the sugar nibs though, so they're staying put . . .
*Bread Machine Chelsea Buns*
Sometimes topped with an icing sugar glaze, we prefer ours with a plain sugar glaze. Made easy by using the bread machine for the dough part of the process.
1 tsp easybake yeast
16 ounces strong white bread flour (3 7/8 cup)
1 tsp fine sea salt
1 ounce butter, cut into small bits (1/8 cup)
2 eggs, beaten
200ml of milk (7 fluid ounces)
3 ounces currants (about 3/4 cup)
2 TBS finely chopped mixed peel
1 3/4 ounce soft light brown sugar (scant 1/4 cup)
1 tsp ground mixed spice (see recipe in right hand column)
1 TBS caster sugar
1 TBS milk
crushed sugar cubes
Put the first six ingredients into the pan in your bread maker according to the instructions for your particular machine. Select the white dough setting, Press start.
When the program has finished, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surgace. Knead lightly, knocking out the air, until smooth. Keeping the countertop lightly floured, roll ou tthe dough to a roughly 22 inch by 9 inch rectangle. Mix the peel with the currants, sugar and spice. Brush the dough with melted butter and then sprinkle with the currant mixture. Roll up from the long side into a swiss roll shape. Cut into 18 equal pieces with a very sharp knife. Arrange, cut side down in two lightly buttered 7 inch square pans. Cover with buttered cling film and leave to rise until the rolls are touching and the dough feels springy.
Preheat the oven to 200*C/400*F/ gas mark 6. Remove the cling film from the rolls. Bake in the heated oven for 15 to 20 mimutes, until golden brown and cooked through.
Make the glaze by heating the milk and sugar together until the sugar dissolves. Brush the tops of the cooked rolls with this mixture and sprinkle with crushed sugar cubes. Remove to a wire rack to cool. Gently tear the buns apart to serve. We like them warm.