Chelsea Buns

Chelsea Buns


  • 1 package dried yeast
  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 5 cups all-purpose or bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon mace or nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch powdered cloves
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 1 cup lukewarm milk
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 2 tablespoons candied orange or lemon peel (optional)
  • 1/4 cup milk


In a small bowl mix the yeast with the warm water and 1/2 teaspoon sugar and let it stand for 10 minutes or until it is frothy. In a large mixing bowl stir together the flour, 3 tablespoons of sugar, the salt, mace or nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves. Cut 1 1/2 sticks of the butter in small pieces and rub into the flour. Make a well in the center and add the yeast mixture and the lukewarm milk. Combine together and then add the egg. Mix together and knead until you have a fairly soft but not sticky dough. Form it into a ball and place it in a bowl covered by a plastic bag or wrap. Set in a draft-free spot until doubled in bulk - about 1 1/2 hours. Knock down the dough to deflate it then divide it into two portions. Grease two jelly roll or similar baking pans. Working with one portion at a time, roll out on a floured board. Roll to form a rectangle roughly 10 by 15 inches. Spread half the remaining butter on the surface. Sprinkle on half the brown sugar then half the raisins and half the candied peel, if you are using it. Then, working from the narrow end, roll-up the rectangle of dough, as if you were making a jelly-roll. Repeat with the other portion of dough. Cut each roll into 10 portions and arrange them 1/2 inch apart in the jelly-roll pans. Cover with plastic or a damp towel and let rise for 20 minutes or until the buns are just touching. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Bake until golden brown - 15-18 minutes. While the buns are baking make a glaze by boiling together the 1 tablespoon of the remaining sugar and 2 tablespoons of milk untilvery foamy. Brush the buns with this glaze as soon as they come from the oven and while the glaze is still very hot. Immediately sprinkle with the remaining sugar. Makes 20 buns, which are best eaten the day they are made or the day after, though they reheat very well.

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