Sunday, 6 May 2007

Missing my Little Kitchen Helper.

After moving to Sydney, there are many things that I miss about cooking and baking. Although Quikong has an admirable array of cooking utensils & cook books, it is no where near my mother’s huge collection of kitchen gadgets, cook books and her terrific oven. But what I miss most is my little kitchen helper – it’s not some fancy, expensive gadget but my little 8 year old nephew, H.

H has been interested in what goes on in the kitchen since he is able to stand up by himself. Maybe it’s because my sis, mom and I spend so much time in there! It’s our family “meeting” room. H is a lot of fun to bake with. He is interested in the whole process, such as why certain ingredients are used, why we have to do certain techniques, how long something has to stay in the oven. He has helped me in a few different ways such as reading the recipe out, help me rub in butter (he does a pretty decent job!) and pouring ingredients into the batter. He is less interested in eating it though – unless it’s vanilla cupcakes or something chocolaty.

After cup cake decorating, I think bread making is what H enjoys making most because the process is more hands on, especially with breads like Chelsea buns, which happens to be my family’s perennial favourite bread. I make it several times when I visit them and I usually time the process so that the buns will be ready for afternoon tea. They are so addictive, especially when they are fresh out of the oven.The buns basically don’t last for more than a day. You've been warned!

Chelsea Buns

1 cup milk, lukewarm

1 large egg, room temperature

500g unbleached white bread flour#

½ tsp salt

75 g caster sugar

50g butter, softened

1 tsp easy-blend (rapid-rise) dried yeast



25g butter, melted

150-200g of dried fruits (I usually use sultanas or raisins)*

25g soft light brown sugar, mixed with

1 tsp cinnamon or mixed (apple pie) spice



50g caster sugar or icing sugar

60ml water

(optional: 1 tsp orange blossom water)



# If using regular flour, reduce the amount of milk slightly

* The original recipe recommended: 115g sultanas, 25g mixed, chopped (candied) peel & 25g currants.



Pour the milk into the bread machine pan. Add the egg.


Sprinkle over the flour, ensuring that it completely covers the liquid. Add the salt, sugar and butter in three separate corners of the pan. Make a small indent in the centre of the flour (but not down as far as the liquid) and add the yeast.


Set the bread machine to the basic dough setting. Press start.


Lightly grease a 9-inch square or round cake tin. When the dough cycle has finished and dough has doubled in bulk, remove the dough from the machine and place it on a lightly floured surface.


Knock the dough back (punch it down) gently, then roll it out to form a square that is about 12 inches.


Brush the dough with the melted butter and sprinkle it with the dried fruits and brown sugar/spice mix. Make sure to leave a ½ inch border along one edge.


Starting at a covered edge, roll the dough up, Swiss (jelly) roll fashion. Press the edges together to seal. Cut the roll into 12 slices and then place these cut side up in the prepared tin.


Cover with an oiled clear film (plastic warp). Leave to rise in a warm place for 30-45 minutes, or until the dough slices have doubled in size. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180 degress C (fan forced).


Bake the buns for 15-20 minutes, or till they have risen well and are evenly golden all over. Be careful not to over bake because you want it still very luscious and slightly moist.


While waiting for the buns to cool slightly, prepare the glaze. Mix the caster/icing sugar with water in a small pan. Heat, stirring occasionally, untl the sugar has dissold. Then boil the mixture rapidly for 1-2 minutes without stiring til syrupy.


Stir in orange blossom water if you are using it. Brush the mixture over the warm buns. Serve slightly warm.
Source: Adapted from The Complete Book of Bread and Bread machines by C. Ingram & J. Shapter.


Taster Notes by L :


Janet said...

Those look yummy! My daughter is 7 and she loves to help too - mostly for the rights to "lick the bowl"...

Nora B. said...

It's good that she's interested in helping since you enjoy it so much. As for "bowl licking" duties, fortunately Quikong has been more than ready to help out.

Anonymous said...

whoah...that photo brings back good memories. You have to show me how to make it, you know that I need coaching. Written instructions aren't good enough for me. x Alicia

Nora B. said...

Alicia - sure! But you can't keep using that excuse on me. ;-) I hope that you will surprise me by baking something for me some day.

Patricia Scarpin said...

Nora, I'm tagging this recipe if you don't mind - these look scrumptious!

What a wonderful blog you have here!

Nora B. said...

Patricia, Thanks for dropping by and your lovely comments. Can you see now why I must try to make the dulce de leche brioche rolls from your blog?