Introduction: Yeast Buns
Yeast buns are a delicious traditional Cornish afternoon tea treat - I have great memories of making these with my Grandmother when I was a young child.
On extra-special occasions saffron (dried stigma from the Crocus sativus flower) is added to the buns - My Grandmother told me the use of saffron in Cornwall dated back to pre-Roman times when the Cornish traded with seafarers from the Middle East *
The saffron imparts a delicate floral flavour and an intense yellow colour - C. sativus is packed full of chemical compounds (crocins) which are responsible for the flavour and colour
See Step 10 for more details on the saffron bun variation.
*I am not a historian or an archaeologist and I have no proof to substantiate this claim.
Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.
Step 1: Ingredients
- 680g strong high protein plain flour
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 225g room temperature butter
- 3 sachets of dried yeast
- 170g sugar
- 225g currants
- 57g mixed peel
- 177mL water
- 177mL full cream milk
Step 2: Equipment
- Mixing bowl
- Measuring jug
- Tea towel
- Glad wrap
- Baking tray
- Baking paper
Step 3: Butter and Flour
- Put flour and salt in a large bowl
- Rub in butter* - As you would if you were making scones
*For those familiar with the science of making bread and brioche (link to scoochmaroo's excellent 'ible), adding a large amount of butter to high protein flour so early in the process may seem unusual and counterintuitive - activating the gluten network in high protein flour during the kneading process promotes strength and elasticity in dough however adding butter (fat) disrupts the network promoting a soft, tender texture - but it works in this recipe and seems to strike the right balance between strength and tenderness - I tried making these buns with all purpose flour and butter a few times but the texture wasn't quite right and the buns were too crumbly.
Step 4: Make the Dough
- Add sugar, currants and mixed peel to flour and margarine mixture
- Mix it together
- Make a well in the centre
- Sprinkle yeast around the sides
- Combine milk and water
- Warm milk and water - You can do this over a low heat on the stove but I just put it in the microwave for 40 seconds
- Pour milk and water into centre of well
- Knead mixture gently
Step 5: First Rise
- Cover dough with glad wrap and tea towel
- Place in warm spot to rise
- Let it rise for about 1 hour - Until dough has nearly doubled in size
Step 6: Preheat Oven
- Preheat oven to 220 degrees Celsius
- Do not use fan forced feature on the oven
I like to put the oven on at least half an hour before baking to get a nice even heat
Step 7: Second Rise
- Gently knead dough again
- Divide into 12 portions and form into buns
- Place on oven tray
- Cover with tea towel
- Place in warm spot to rise for another 25 minutes
Step 8: Cook
- Place the buns into the middle tray of the oven
- Cook for 20-25 minutes until the buns are golden on top
- To check that the buns are cooked through, tap the bottom of the bun lightly with your finger - it shouldn't feel soft or doughy
Step 9: Enjoy!
It's best to eat yeast buns on the day they are cooked.
Step 10: Saffron Bun Variation
- Before adding the milk and water to the flour mixture grab a pinch of saffron
- Put them on an oven tray in a low oven for a few minutes to let them dry out - don't let them burn
- Crush the fronds between your fingers and put them in a small bowl
- Add 60-80mL of boiling water and leave it for a few minutes until it takes on an intense yellow colour
- Add this to the milk and water mixture and return to Step 4
Participated in the