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Chelsea buns

  • 3 hours
  • 15-20 minutes
  • Makes 12 buns
Chelsea buns


  • Ferment
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup water
  • 3½ teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 cup high grade flour
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Dough
  • 2½ cups high grade flour
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 50 grams butter, softened
  • Fruit and spice filling
  • 75 grams butter, softened
  • ¾ cup currants or sultanas
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cassia or cinnamon
  • grated rind 1 orange
  • ¼ cup mixed peel


  1. Ferment
  2. In a medium jug, use a fork to beat together the egg, water, yeast, flour and sugar. Set aside for 10-12 minutes or until the mixture is bubbly and frothy. On cooler days this may take a little longer.
  3. Dough
  4. Sift the flour, sugar and salt into a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Pour in the bubbling ferment and use your hand to bring the dough together. Add the softened butter towards the end. It may be necessary to add 2-3 tablespoons extra water or milk to make a soft dough.
  5. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for a good 10 minutes until the dough is smooth. Turn the dough over in a clean greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap and a warmed towel and sit in a warm place for 40 minutes or until double in bulk.
  6. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and flatten gently to deflate the dough. Do not knock down roughly.
  7. Roll out to a 36-cm x 30-cm rectangle. Spread generously with the 75 grams softened butter for the filling. Toss together the remaining fruit and spice filling ingredients and scatter over the buttered dough. Roll up from the longer edge as tightly as you can.
  8. Cut into 12x 3-cm thick slices and place the slices into a well-greased and lined 25-cm square cake tin or baking dish. Cover and leave for 40 minutes until double in bulk. Preheat the oven to 220ºC while the dough is rising.
  9. Place into the preheated oven and immediately lower the temperature to 200ºC. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the buns are golden and the dough is well cooked.
  10. Remove from the oven and brush either with a little butter or for a sweeter finish a little sugar syrup. Cool in the tin for 5 minutes before turning out and serving warm with butter.
  11. Simple sugar syrup
  12. Stir together equal quantities of sugar and water over a low heat until the sugar has been dissolved. Keep refrigerated. For the buns, you will need about 2-3 tablespoons sugar syrup to brush over.

Cooks Tips

Many elements affect the amound of liquid needed to make a soft dough. Age of the flour, accurate measuring, dryness of the flour, size of the egg, etc. It is worthwhile remembering that the softer the dough, the better the end result. Variations: - Dried cranberries, orange rind, cassia and mixed peel. - Chopped fresh dates, lemon rind, cinnamon and chopped glace ginger. - Dried blueberries with orange rind, cinnamon or mace and mixed peel.

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