Growing up my mother used to make all sorts of sweets on the weekend. She didn’t use a cookbook, she just whipped up something delicious in a matter of minutes, still able to hold a conversation over her shoulder. I remember once when we were little on a Sunday afternoon, she let us help her roll up these sweet sticky buns. As best as a seven year old could, I gently sliced them into roughly shaped rolls, tucking in the little fruit bits while licking my fingers along the way. We would tuck them into the tin like we were tucking in our dolls to bed. My mother would slide them in to the oven and we would sit and wait by the oven door watching them rise. It was usually the longest hour of the weekend while we hovered around the oven until she opened it and the sweet warm smell wafted out. We would devour them whilst they were still warm and gooey, we couldn’t resist…I hope you can’t either!
Sunday Chelsea Buns
2 teaspoons of active dry yeast
3 tablespoons of warm water
1 tablespoon of honey
1 cup of whole milk
1/2 cup of butter, melted
2 1/4 cup of all purpose flour or bread flour
1 teaspoon of salt
1/4 cup of brown sugar
Honey to drizzle
3 egg yolks
For the filling:
1/2 cup of butter, melted
2 cup of dried apricots, sliced into small pieces
1 1/2 cup of currants
1/2 cup of maple syrup
1 teaspoon of cloves
1 tablespoon of cinnamon
In a medium bowl, dissolve the yeast with the three tablespoons of water and honey. Let it stand for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the milk and butter in a small pan and allow this cool.
In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, salt and sugar. Stir in the yeast mixture to the dry ingredients.
Add the butter and milk to the dough and mix evenly until it forms a wet sticky, but workable dough.
Knead the dough for at least 15 minutes by hand as it will take longer for the gluten to develop. If using a mixer with a dough hook, 10-12 minutes should suffice.
Place the dough back into a greased bowl and let it prove for at least an hour and a half in a warm place. Cover it will a tea towel or cling wrap.
Meanwhile, soak the fruit and spices in the maple syrup in a small bowl and let it sit on the side. The fruit will absorb the maple syrup.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Once the dough has at least doubled in size, flatten it out into a 9” x 13” rectangle, about 1/2” thick on a floured work surface. Brush it will the melted butter and sprinkle the fruit evenly over the dough. Roll it up lengthwise tightly and cut the roll into 2”- 2 1/2” rolls. Place them into 9” x 9” round dish or baking tin. Leave some space in between the rolls so they can rise.
Prove the rolls for another 30 minutes. After they prove, bake them for 45 minutes to an hour. Tent them if they are beginning to burn with aluminum foil.
Once out of the oven, drizzle them with honey and sprinkle on some silvered almonds or chopped walnuts and serve warm.