Saturday, February 17, 2007

Shoo Fly or Currant Buns

On one of Hannah's Playschool dvd's there is a song about currant buns. They became a big topic of conversation, and so last weekend she helped me make them. It's a pretty simple recipe if you have a Bamix or food processor for pureeing the orange needed in the recipe. You just need to allow time for rising (this can be an issue if your cooking with a little person who wants instant results).

The other problem with making yeast goods with a three-year-old is with all the will and effort in the world, they lack the muscle to make a decent effort at kneading. I've a suspicion that sometimes the required kneading is over-rated. One day I meant to blog about the Dan Lepard bread workshop I attended last year which demonstrated very successfully how to make good bread without kneading.

The recipe is from a cracker of a book, 'Baker; the best of international baking from Australian and New Zealand professionals' by Dean Brettschneider and Lauraine Jacobs. The shoo fly bun recipe originates from Babka in Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, which is a sublime place for breakfast or lunch. They are best the day made (sublime freshly buttered when still warm from the oven), but re-heated the next day (to counter staleness) the buns are still good. I've adapted the recipe a little, putting less salt and have halved the amount of currants (until I've worked out how to avoid them getting charred by the oven when they sit on top of the bun).

500g plain flour
1 tsp salt
50g sugar
25g skim milk powder
50g unsalted butter
8g dried yeast
150g water
250g (about 1/2) pureed oranges (chop up, remove pips, puree)
125g currants

Place flour, salt, sugar, milk powder, and butter into a bowl. Make a well and add the yeast, water and pureed oranges. Mix then knead for 10-15 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic. You want a soft, not too firm dough so adding some more flour or water may be necessary.

Add currants, gently incorporating them into the dough. Place dough in oiled bowl. Cover with cling wrap, leave in a warmish place (23-25 degrees C) and allow to double in size (about 1 1/2 hours).

Gently knock back the dough so that it deflates, cover and leave for 30 minutes.

Tip dough onto a lightly floured surface and cut into 12 pieces. Mould each piece into a ball. This is done by cupping the hand over a dough piece on a flour-less bench, applying downwards pressure and moving your hand around in circular motions. (If making with a small person use any method that works!).

Place on a greased baking tray, cover again with cling wrap and allow to rise for about 1 hour or until nearly doubled in size.

Place in pre-heated 200 degree C oven and bake for 15-20 minutes. They should be lightly coloured on the sides and a little darker on the top. Brush immediately with glaze.

Sticky Bun Glaze:
50g sugar
2 tbs water
a little orange zest

Bring to the boil in a saucepan until sugar dissolved.


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