1 tbsp Treacle* + 2oz of warm water** + 1/2oz of dried yeast (SAF)
8oz warm water** & 1 egg
1lb of flour
pinch of salt
3oz of castor sugar (superfine/baker's)
3oz of butter cut into 10 pieces (I used unsalted)
6-8oz currants, golden raisins, etc.
sugar and lemon zest to taste (or 1 tsp of each)
1c Almond paste (optional)
egg wash (1 egg and 1tbsp of water whisked together) hail sugar (also called pearl sugar - optional)
In a large measuring cup or bowl add yeast to treacle and warm water and set aside.
Whisk the egg and 8oz of water together and then add to treacle/yeast mixture.
Add flour, salt and sugar to a large bowl and rub in butter. Make a well in the center and pour in the reserved yeast/liquid mixture. Mix it by hand pulling the sides to the center. When combined, let it sit in the bowl for 10 mins to rest. Then turn out the dough onto a floured board and knead until smooth and shiny (about 5-10 mins) adding flour if it’s still too sticky.
Preheat oven to 425°F (convection if you have it)
Place the dough in a clean bowl and cover with a clean towel. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size (I choose a sunny place). Then punch it down and let it rest for 5 minutes more. Turn it out again onto a floured board and knead in the fruit and lemon sugar (you can flatten the dough and sprinkle the fruit on top and then fold the sides over the fruit and knead from there). When combined (so that the fruit isn’t falling out), roll dough into a long thick log-shape and cut it in half. Then flatten the half and roll the almond paste into a log about the same length. Place the almond paste log in the center and roll the dough around it sealing at the bottom by folding over the dough, making it into a fatter log. Cut it into 6 pieces and form each piece into a bun, making sure that the almond paste is covered by dough (don’t leave it exposed). Do the same with the other half of the log. I used a silpat-lined sheet pan.
Brush the tops of the 12 buns with egg wash and sprinkle with hail sugar.
Set in a warm place, lightly covered with a towel, for 45 minutes.
Place in pre-heated oven for 8-10 minutes until golden.
Serve sliced with good butter.
*If you don’t have Treacle, molasses will work instead. You could also substitute Lyle’s golden syrup or sugar (which is what the original recipe calls for).
** Water should be body temperature - like warm bath water.
Sam at Becks & Posh posted a challenge: Fish & Quips is an online event designed to promote the idea that English Cooking is not a joke. (The round-up is here.)
I chose a favorite Irish cookbook and an English recipe from it and further customized it.