I love buns. There, I said. It.
Every year I whip up a big batch of mincemeat and don't really make anything with it aside from mince pies. I was staring at this year's and got thinking about what I could do with the leftovers. Having trawled through instagram and looked at a number of EmmaHitsTheSpot's posts my mind went straight to buns. Why not make a sort of festive take on the Chelsea bun? Wanting to up the ante a little I thought it would be great to balance the flavour a little by adding a frangipane to the filling and top the buns with an almond crumble rather than go for an icing so they're not overly sweet and have a little texture. Suffice to say I hope you give these a go if you've leftover mincemeat knocking about.
Hands-on Time 1 hour
Proving Time +2 hours
Baking Time 35 minutes
500g Strong white bread flour (plus extra for dusting)
1 sachet or 2 1/2 tsp Fast-action yeast
175g plus 1/2 tbsp Caster sugar
1/2 tsp Fine sea salt
1/2 tbsp Mixed Spice
240g Unsalted butter (200g softened, 40g chilled)
3 Eggs, medium
275ml Full-fat milk
Oil for greasing (Flavourless e.g. sunflower or vegetable)
150g Ground almonds
80g Plain flour
1 tsp Almond extract
2 tbsp Icing sugar (for decorating)
3 Mixing bowls
Roasting tray (approx 24cm x 34cm)
Add 500 grams of flour to the large bowl. Place the yeast on one side, and 75 grams of sugar, salt, and mixed spice on the other.
Add 100 grams of softened butter and 1 egg.
Start to combine using one hand, slowly adding the milk with the other, until you have formed a dough and all dry ingredients have been incorporated.
Tip out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for approx. 10 minutes until smooth.
Use a dough scraper occasionally to gather the dough together if you find it sticking.
Don't add more flour.
When the dough is soft and smooth, leave it to rest on the worktop whilst you wash and lightly oil the large bowl.
Place the dough back into the bowl, cover with a tea towel and leave for at least 1 hour until it has doubled in size.
In the meantime get on with the frangipane.
In a mixing bowl combine 100 grams of softened butter, 100 grams of sugar, 30 grams of plain flour, 100 grams of ground almonds, almond extract, and one egg until you have a paste.
Transfer the mincemeat into another mixing bowl.
Grate the lemon over the mincemeat before halving and squeezing over the juice as well. Give the mincemeat a stir with a clean spatula.
Line the roasting tray with a sheet of baking parchment.
Remove the tea towel once the dough has proved.
Tip the dough back out onto a lightly floured surface and roll out into a 48cm x 40cm rectangle.
Spread the frangipane over the dough using a palette knife, ensuring you cover everything.
Clean the palette knife and spread the mincemeat over the frangipane.
Roll the dough up starting with the length closest to you. Using a sharp knife, press down at 4cm intervals along the length of the dough, avoid sawing with the blade.
Place the buns swirl-side down into the lined tray.
Cover with a tea towel and leave to prove for at least an hour until doubled in size.
When the buns have finished proving remove the tea towel and get on with making the crumble.
In a clean bowl add 50 grams of plain flour, and 50 grams of ground almonds.
Cube 40 grams of cold butter and add it to the bowl.
Toss the butter in the flour/almond mixture before squeezing each piece between your thumb and fingers. Rub the flattened butter into the flour/almonds until you have a crumb.
Add 1/2 tablespoon of caster sugar to the crumb and stir.
Beat the egg in the mixing bowl using the pastry brush and coat the buns with it.
Sprinkle the crumble over the glazed buns.
Preheat the oven to 190°C/170°C(Fan)/375°F/Gas mark 5.
Place the tray on the middle shelf in the oven and bake for 35 minutes until the buns are a golden colour.
Remove and leave to cool in the tray before lifting them.
Use a sieve to dust them with icing sugar.