Honey Buns (Devon Splits) and Fruit Loaf
Makes 12 buns or 6 buns and either 1 x 2lb fruit loaf or 2 x 1lb fruit loaves These light, semi sweet bread buns filled with jam and cream are a delight. The recipe will make 12 buns but as they are best eaten on the day of baking I like to make just 6 and then bake a fruit loaf using the rest of the dough which is delicious sliced and toasted.
I use a table top mixer fitted with a dough hook for mixing bread dough. Start by placing the dry ingredients into the bowl starting with the yeast then the flour followed by the salt. In a large mixing jug mix together the milk, honey, egg, vanilla and melted butter. Keep the warm water separate.
Pour the jug of liquids into the flour and mix on a low speed for about 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and stretchy.
The dough needs to be fairly slack, not stuck into a huge ball. If your dough is dry and formed into a ball then you need to add more liquid. Add about half of the warm water and continue to mix.
Your dough is the right consistency when it leaves the sides of the bowl, sticks to the dough hook and can be lifted out of the machine in one piece. The dough should be shiny, smooth and elastic.
Transfer to a slightly floured work surface and knead by hand briefly to bring together to a smooth ball. If the dough is rough looking it needs more mixing – pop back into the mixer for 5 minutes and add more water.
If your dough is as smooth looking as a pillow then start to shape.
If you want to make the buns then 70g of dough each one is just right. Shape the weighed dough into balls then transfer to a baking sheet lined with reusable baking parchment. Space the dough out well and allow 6 per baking sheet.
If you want to then make a fruit loaf simply spread out the dough and scatter the fruit over. Roll up the dough, enclosing the fruit and knead well. Shape into a small bloomer shape and transfer into either 2 x 1lb loaf tins or 1 x 2lb loaf tin.
These buns need a long time to rise – about one and a half to two hours until doubled. I leave mine to rise in the oven with just the light on though they have to be removed before the oven is preheated.
When ready to bake preheat the oven to 190 degrees c (fan)
Bake the buns for 16-18 minutes until well risen and golden brown.
Bake the loaves as follows – 1 lb loaves – 20-25 minutes and a 2 lb loaf about 30 minutes.
Remove from the tins immediately and leave to cool.
For the buns – when ready to fill cut down the middle, open out and pipe with fresh cream and a drizzle of raspberry jam.
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