- Food & Drink
A few weeks ago it was The Enigmatic Mr S’s birthday. Being enigmatic, he’s often difficult to buy gifts for, but this year I had a corker of an idea. Because Mr S is inordinately fond of fruit buns. And if you like something, wouldn’t you really like a supersized version of it? I would, so I made Mr S a Chelsea bun that was as big as his head.
In theory, it was the equivalent of 12 normal Chelsea buns, but Leonard, Mr S and I managed to carve off and eat about 1/4 of it in 1 afternoon tea sitting (you didn’t think I was going to give him a fruit bun big enough to carve and not eat some of it, did you?), so I reckon it would comfortably feed 6 people. Maybe 8 if you aren’t that greedy.
Be aware that if you slice the bun while it’s still warm, the filling will be liquidy and runny, which is messy but fun (if you like being covered in sugar and dried fruit).
Giant Chelsea Bun
50g unsalted butter plus extra for greasing
275ml whole milk
525g strong white bread flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp caster sugar
1 7g sachet fast action dried yeast
Beaten egg, to glaze
125g unsalted butter, melted
85g mixed chopped peel
1 tbsp caster sugar
1 tbsp whole milk
1 Grease an 18cm square cake tin with butter and set aside. Gently warm the butter and milk together until the butter starts to melt. Remove from the heat and stir until the butter has melted completely. Set aside until it’s hand hot. Sift 500g of the flour, the salt and yeast into a large mixing bowl and stir to combine. Stir the buttery milk into the flour to make a soft dough.
2 Dust your work surface with 1/2 the remaining flour and turn the dough out onto it. Cover with the bowl and leave for 5 minutes to relax.
3 Knead the dough for about 10 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Dust the work surface and a rolling pin with the remaining flour and roll the dough out to make a rectangle approximately 20cm x 40cm.
4 To fill the bun, brush the dough with 1/2 the melted butter and sprinkle over 2/3 of the sugar, currants and chopped peel. Fold the dough in half, so the rectangle is now 10cm x 40cm. Brush with the remaining butter and sprinkle with the remaining currants, peel and sugar. Roll up from the short end to make a round bun. Cover loosely with clingfilm or place inside a carrier bag and leave for 1–2 hours or until the bun has doubled in size. Preheat the oven to gas mark 6/200°C/fan oven 180°C.
5 When the bun has doubled in size, remove the clingfilm or plastic bag and brush the bun generously with beaten egg. Bake for 30–40 minutes until golden and cooked through. Transfer to a wire rack.
6 To glaze, heat the caster sugar and milk together until the sugar has dissolved and brush over the bun. Best eaten within 24 hours.