Makes 6 to 9 buns
FOR THE BUNS
- 125g strong bread flour plus extra for dusting
- 125g whole wheat flour (I used Brixton Windmill flour)
- 6g salt
- 40g caster sugar
- 6g dry yeast
- 25g butter at room temperature
- 1 egg, lightly beaten (50g)
- 90ml warm milk (to activate the yeast)
- 125g dried sour cherries
- 3 Tbsp instant coffee (or more at your liking)
- FOR THE CROSS
- 2 Tbsp plain flour
- 1 and 1/2 Tbsp water
- FOR THE GLAZE
- 50g smooth apricot jam
- 1 tsp coffee extract (or strong coffee)
- 1Tbsp water
Activate the yeast following the instructions on the package. I usually warm the milk to 38℃, add the yeast and a sprinkle of sugar, give it a good stir and cover to become frothy for 10 minutes.
Soak the cherries in enough lukewarm water to cover them. Leave for 10 minutes.
Mix the flour, sugar, salt, yeast, butter, egg and instant coffee together in a bowl, then slowly add the warmed milk until it forms a soft, sticky dough.
Squeeze any excess water out of the cherries and add to the dough. Initially incorporate them within the bowl, as it’s just easier and they won’t scatter around. Add one or two extra tsp of flour to the mix to balance the moisture brought by the cherries.
Once the cherries are fairly incorporated, tip out of the bowl onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough by holding it with one hand and stretching it with the heel of the other hand. Knead through the initial sticky and wet stage, resisting the urge of adding extra flour. After about 5 minutes, if still sticky, dust with a bit of flour and bring together into a smooth and springy dough.
Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with oiled cling film and leave to rise for approximately one hour and a half, or until doubled in size.
Knock back the dough to let the gas escape, form a ball again and return to rise for another hour and a half.
Weigh the dough and divide it into 6 or 9 pieces, according to how large you want your buns to be. Roll each piece into a smooth ball on a lightly floured surface. Arrange the buns on a baking tray lined with parchment, leaving enough space so that the buns just touch when they rise and expand (about 2 cm). Set aside to prove for another hour.
When the rise is nearly completed, heat the oven to 190℃. For the cross, mix the flour and water to form a pipeable paste. Spoon into a piping bag with a small nozzle or a plastic food bag (snip a tiny bit of one of the corners to pipe). Pipe a line along each row of buns, then repeat in the other direction to create crosses.
Bake for 18-20 minutes on the middle shelf of the oven, or until golden-brown.
In the meanwhile, mix the apricot jam and water to form a sticky and loose glaze. Take the buns out of the oven and brush the tops with the glaze to give it a shiny and sticky finish. Wait 15 minutes to slice and brush with butter (or brandy butter, if you ask me!..) Enjoy!
Also available in: Español