Ok, as much as I loved Halloween it’s getting towards the end of November, people are getting pretty miserable and it’s not just because of the dark and gloomy weather, so I'm done talking about it all now and we’re moving straight on to Christmas!!
These cinnamon-roll type balls of goodness are a Paul Hollywood recipe (so you know I had to try my best), they involve a few different parts but it wasn’t too difficult and it was super fun to make a dough again but this time a much sweeter, more festive one.
Makes 9 buns
500g Strong White Flour
7g Dried, Fast-Action Yeast
40g Unsalted Butter
For The Filling
25g Unsalted Butter, melted
75g Soft Brown Sugar
2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
100g Dried Cranberries
100g Dried Mixed Fruit
For The Glaze
50g Caster Sugar
For The Lemon Icing
Zest of 1 Lemon
200g Icing Sugar
To start, combine flour and 1 tsp of salt together in a large bowl. Make a well in the middle and pour the yeast in.
Now, in a small saucepan, melt together your butter and milk on medium-low heat until the butter is fully melted and the mixture is lukewarm, don’t let the milk boil!!
Add your milk and butter mixture into the dry ingredients with an egg and mix it all together until you have a soft dough.
Now, tip your dough out onto a pre-floured surface and knead it for 5 minutes, make sure you’re folding it over and over and really putting your body weight into it! After 5 minutes the dough should be smooth and not sticky.
Lightly oil a bowl and place your dough into it, turning the dough around until it's coated in oil. Place a tea towel or some foil over the bowl and leave it in a warm place for an hour until the dough has doubled in size. Then lightly grease a high-sided baking sheet.
Once the dough has risen, punch it a couple of times to knock the air out of it and tip it out onto a floured surface. Roll the dough out into a 1cm thick rectangle.
Using a pastry brush, evenly distribute the melted butter over the dough getting it all the way out to the edges then add the sugar on top.
Now, sprinkle the cinnamon evenly over the dough and measure out the cranberries and dried fruit and sprinkle these over the dough, making sure it covers every corner.
Gently roll the dough into a tight cylinder and cut it into 9 equal pieces and place them on your baking tray leaving a little gap between each one.
Place a tea towel over the top of the buns and leave in a warm place again for 30 minutes to rise a little bit. Now you can pre-heat your oven to 190C/ 170 Fan/ Gas Mark 5.
After 30 mins, pop the buns in the oven and let them bake for between 20-25 mins until they’ve risen again and are golden-brown. Once they’re cooked, take them out of the oven and leave them in the tray.
Now time to make the first glaze, simply melt the caster sugar in a saucepan with 4 tbsp water over medium-low heat until it takes on a syrupy consistency, pour this immediately over the buns.
Now you can remove the buns from the tin and put them on a wire rack, now to make the icing. Mix together the lemon zest and icing sugar with 2 tbsp water until the icing sugar has dissolved and it takes on a thick icing texture, drizzle this over the top of your buns.
And that’s it! I know there are quite a few components to this but it’s very easy once you get going and the outcome is so worth it!
These buns were well cooked; crunchy on the outside but still fluffy and soft on the inside, the fruit gives a lovely chewy texture and sweetness, and every now and then you get a nice burst of citrus from the lemon icing. These would be a perfect and easy addition to the Christmas buffet table, and they look like you’ve worked so hard even though it didn't really take you that long!
If you get some time over Christmas to give these a try then I promise you won't regret it…once you taste them you might even wanna double the recipe!!
Merry (early) Christmas!