This is an English tea staple which can be made in three different flavours: fresh currants, dried currant with cinnamon and chocolate chips. When it comes to dessert flavours for the river there is only chocolate. To a cup of warm water add yeast and sprinkle a bit of little sugar in there and mix, the yeast is sticky so you will need two spoons to scrape things a little bit. Next mix the dry ingredients together; to the flour add sugar and salt and mix the dry ingredients together and then make a well in the centre or don’t it is up to you.
Pour into the flour melted unsalted butter, warm milk and the liquid yeast mixture and mix the ingredients to hydrate the flour then put a lid on and wait for about 10 minutes for it to absorb the liquid you have added. Add in the eggs one at a time and mix by hand to combine, at this point you can add extra flour because things can get a little bit wet. Once things are looking combined enough turn the dough onto a floured work surface and continue kneading and mixing as much as you can. This is a sticky dough and you sort of want to keep it that way and try not to add too much flour because the higher the dough hydration the moister open and tender the crumb of the buns will be after baking. The drier dough will provide a drier end result.
Once you’ve got nice gluten developing which means the dough stretches out with visible strings holding it together, you pick it up with the help of your trusty bench scraper and put it into an oiled bowl so it doesn’t stick into the bowl when you try to take it out later. Cover the bowl and wait until the dough has risen and doubled in size. If your house is cold it will take much longer at this stage of bulk fermentation is about developing flavour so longer slower fermentation is totally fine if not desirable. Once the dough has risen to turn it to a floured work surface, punch it down to degas the dough and then stretch it out into a flat type shape before spreading the fillings over the top.
Fold the dough over on top of the fillings and then knead until things are properly incorporated and reincorporating the bits of fillings if they fall out. Once things are properly distributed cut the dough into even pieces using the bench scraper and then shape the pieces into balls wrapping the dough round and then pinching at the bottom to establish surface tension so the burn will rise nice and round. Once you’ve folded your buns put them onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
Cover them using something that will not touch the top of the buns and let them rise. They will not double in size here but you probably going for something more like 50 to 75 per cent growth but you can use a floured finger to poke one and test to see if it is proved. If it is proved the dent you make with your finger will stay there and slowly spring back but not fully. Warm-up your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit while you brush the buns with a mixture of icing and water or beaten eggs so they turn out glossy.
Bake them till golden brown rotating the top of the tray to bottom, back to front to ensure even browning. They can take for about 12 minutes on total but it depends on the type of oven you have so roll with the punches. Take out the buns and serve them warm on the next day they can be eaten cold or reheated in the microwave for about 30 seconds or so to warm them up and get them good and moist again.
This is basically a sweet bun template recipe that you could almost use for anything. You could add cheese to this dough and make cheese buns or you could use this as a hamburger recipe with no fillings but with sesame seeds and some egg wash on top.
- 580g unbleached white flour
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 1 tbsp instant yeast
- 1/2 cup (104 grams) sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup (55 grams) melted butter
- 3/4 cup (177 ml) warm milk
- 2 eggs
- Any fillings or no fillings to your taste