Nostalgic bakes are sometimes the best whatever they may be. One of mine is the iced bun. Simple, sweet, yet satisfying. If I think about the local bakery I used to go to as a child, the three things which instantly pop into my mind are cream sandwiched meringues, milk loaves, and iced buns. The one thing that got me when thinking about iced buns is how pale they used to be. Either the icing was white or a soft pink. For me I like buns big and bold, so I decided to make the icing as colourful as possible. If you do want to add colouring to the icing I would recommend you make up one colour and ice the buns at a time, otherwise the icing will set if you leave it sitting in a bowl. Do have fun when making them!
Hands-on Time 30 minutes
Proving Time +3 hours
Baking Time 10 minutes
500g plus extra for dusting Strong bread flour
1 sachet or 2 1/2 tsp Fast-action yeast
50g Caster sugar
50g Unsalted butter (softened)
1 Egg, medium
185ml Full-fat milk
Oil for greasing
250g Icing sugar
Freestanding mixer or large mixing bowl and wooden spoon
Clingfilm or tea towel
Dough scraper or knife
Aluminium baking sheet
Add the flour to the mixing bowl, followed by the yeast to one side and sugar and butter to the other.
Add the egg, water, and 160ml of milk.
Knead the dough for 10 minutes. If you’re doing this by hand, knead on a lightly oiled worktop.
Lightly oil a mixing bowl before transferring your dough into it. Otherwise put the dough onto a lightly floured surface whilst you clean the bowl you used for kneading.
Cover with clingfilm or a tea towel and leave to prove until doubled in size. This should take a couple of hours. I leave my dough in the fridge overnight to prove.
Lightly flour a worktop and tip the dough out onto it.
Divide the dough up into 12 portions, placing them onto a floured surface.
Prepare your baking sheet by lining it with baking parchment. If you don’t have a light aluminium sheet you may want to double line it.
Take the first piece of dough and place it in front of you. Make sure you have flour within reach.
Ensuring your hands stay dusted at all times, cup the dough with both hands. Draw one hand towards you whilst you push the other away. This should turn the dough as you move them. Release your hands and cup the dough again. As you repeat this action you should slightly pull down the sides of the dough smoothing out the top, and start shaping it into a round. Your floured hands should stop the dough sticking to them. At the same time the lack of flour on the surface should help the bottom of the bun seal.
Once you have a smooth round, roll it between your hands to make a sausage.
Place the bun onto the baking parchment.
Repeat with the other 11 pieces, place them a few centimetres apart on the sheet.
Lightly grease your clingfilm with oil and cover the dough.
Leave them to prove for at least an hour until they have doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 210°C/190°C(Fan)/425°F/Gas mark 7.
Carefully remove the clingfilm when the dough has finished proving.
Pop the sheet into the oven on a middle shelf for 10 minutes until they are a gloriously golden brown.
Remove from the oven once baked and leave to cool.
Once the buns have fully cooled, get on with icing them.
Add the icing sugar to a mixing bowl along with 25ml of milk. Combine with a spatula until you have a thick yet dripping icing. If the icing is too runny, add more icing sugar. If the icing is too stiff, add a few drops of milk.
Add a small dollop of icing to the top of a bun and spread out using the spatula. The icing shouldn’t run that much and will smooth out, so don’t fuss over them.
If the icing has set before it can smooth out, dip your finger into a little milk, shake off any excess and use your finger to smooth the icing.