Giant Chelsea bun

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 . 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 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
Makes 1

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
125g sugar
180g currants
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.

Tagged with: Afternoon teaBakingBritishBuns

20 Responses to Giant Chelsea bun

  1. Nora says:

    What a fantastic idea! That is one lucky Mr S!

  2. The Grubworm says:

    What a superb idea for a birthday bun. I love chelsea buns and I’d love to try this with some added cinnamon.

  3. ginandcrumpets says:

    @Nora Trouble is, it’s such a good idea, I think I’ll do it every birthday. he’ll soon be sick of giant fruit buns.

    @The Grubworm Ah yes, I thought long and hard about the spicing. Some recipes have cinnamon, some mixed spice, some a crazy mixture of spices and some none at all. In the end, because I had particularly nice currants and candied peel, I opted for no spice at all so the bun would just taste of sugar in all its marvellous forms. I’m a big fan of sugar, as my dentist will tell you with a shake of his head.

  4. What a great idea,did you put candles in it?
    PS I wish you’d put stood something next to it like a teacup so we could appreciate it’s size!

  5. Niamh says:

    I love it! Like pimp my snack but for baking. Brilliant idea.

  6. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by ginandcrumpets, ginandcrumpets. ginandcrumpets said: New post: Ever fancied making a Chelsea bun so big you have to carve it? Then I have the recipe for you: […]

  7. LexEat! says:

    I love this idea. For me, I’d probably prefer individual smaller rolls as I love the outer edges just as much as the centre!
    What will you make for next year’s birthday!?

  8. Greedy Diva says:

    I am going to have strange dreams about people with Chelsea Bun heads tonight, I just know it.

  9. ginandcrumpets says:

    @Northern Snippet Ah yes, I should have put a tea cup in there. It’s on a dinner plate, if that helps.

    @Niamh I love Pimp My Snack! One of my favourite sites.

    @LexEat! But you can eat more bun if you eat it by the slice – you don’t realise just how much bun you’re eating, whereas eating 2 or 3 individual buns seems a bit greedy! Lord knows what I’ll do for next year. I’ll have to put my thinking baker’s hat on.

    @Greedy Diva There are worse dreams out there.

  10. Oh my god – giant chelsea bun, just as a concept I am already in love. It looks amazing!

  11. Helen says:

    This is brilliant. A giant Chelsea bun! Unless, UNLESS Jassy, it’s just a normal sized Chelsea bun, close up…

  12. curlywurlyfi says:

    O my god I want. I want I want I want.

  13. ginandcrumpets says:

    @Helen As if I’d be so nefarious.

    @Gourmet Chick and @curlywurlyfi Thanks – baking giant versions of things is clearly the way forward. Much more satisfying (although this is probably how the decline of the Roman empire began).

  14. Choclette says:

    Oh, I think I want one of those for my birthday – with lots of added cinnamon. What a lovely idea.

  15. Brit says:

    Feed 6 people? I reckon I could eat that in one go, given a free afternoon and a fair wind.

  16. Sally says:

    Hysterical! I’ve just made 10 Chelsea buns and pretty much ate half of them single-handed. There’s something less guilt making eating in small pieces than in one gigantic bun. Love it!

  17. Eat-Tori says:

    Oh my- this looks insanely good. Proof that big really is beautiful…

  18. ginandcrumpets says:

    @Choclette Thanks – it’s makes a change from the usual Madeira cake and vanilla icing!

    @Brit And afternoon is bold talk. I checked with the recipient and it lasted them about 48 hours.

    @Sally See, I’d feel a bit bad (but not very) about eating several buns, but convert those buns into 1 large slab of bun and I’m instantly at ease with my appetite.

    @Eat-Tori Big definitely is very beautiful!

  19. What a brilliant idea! I might have to copy this for my Chelsea-supporting, (well, no one is perfect!) Cockney husband as a treat for our wedding anniversary!

  20. Pixie says:

    I’ve just stumbled here via another blog and had to comment. This is like a dream come true! I am salivating at the screen. Good work!

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