Tired of Mince Pies? Prefer something… doughier?
Then get your chops around the Pud-Hog’s Christmas Buns.
I made some last night with a jar of old Mincemeat (left over from 2011), plus a generous sprinkling of Mulled Spice Sugar (a special mix sold by Steenbergs, infused with Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Allspice and Clove).
They turned out to be a textural triumph: extremely soft, extremely juicy, and crisp on the top with a layer of baked spiced Sugar.
In fact, they could well be the best Buns I’ve made – and given the taste of my Orange/Dark Chocolate variety, that’s a fairly major accolade, I assure you…
Christmas Buns (makes 6 big ‘uns)
For the Dough:
- 120ml warm water (a mixture of half boiling and half cold)
- 7g dried yeast (approx one sachet)
- 300g strong white bread flour
- 50g light brown sugar
- 40g melted butter/vegetable fat
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp salt
For the Filling and Top:
- 400g mincemeat (vegetarian, ideally)
- 30g mulled spice sugar, approx (or normal sugar with 2 tsp allspice if you can’t get hold of the Steenbergs blend)
- 20g butter/marge
- Stir the yeast and warm water in a jug/cup and leave somewhere warm to react
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix the other dough ingredients together
- When the yeast/water mixture is starting to get nice and frothy (after about 10 mins), pour it into the rest of the dough and incorporate with a spatula
- Before the water has the chance to get cold, quickly take out the dough and knead on a floured surface for 10 mins (until the dough is ultra smooth and springy)
- Return the dough to its bowl, cover with a tea towel, and leave in a warm place to rise until doubled in size (i.e. 60 to 90 mins)
- Take out your risen dough and lay to rest under a tea towel on a floured surface for 10 mins
- Roll out into a rectangle (approx 10 x 8 in inches, or 25 x 20 in centimetres)
- Spread the mincemeat evenly over the surface, making sure to cover the dough right up to the edges
- Cut your rectangle into 6 strips (a strip being 8 inches/20cm long) and roll each one up into a coil (with the mincemeat on the inside, obvs)*
- Place in a large floured baking tray
- Melt the second batch of butter/marge and drizzle the top of each bun with about a teaspoon’s worth. Then sprinkle a liberal teaspoon or two of mulled sugar on top of this (depending on how sweet you want the final product)
- Cover with a tea towel, and leave in a warm place to rise for another 30-40 mins
- Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees
- Bake in the centre for approximately 25 mins, or until golden and cooked through
- Place on a wire rack to cool
- DEVOUR – still warm, if possible (just don’t burn your tongue on that mincemeat)
[* NB: since sharing this post a few pals have suggested rolling the dough up first, then cutting it into 6 portions.
If you want to save time then go for it – but I like the less uniform shapes that come out when you roll each one up individually.
As a wise man once said, the choice is yours…]