After the first batch of sourdough Easter buns, I made a few tweaks to the recipe. The result is so much more than the sum of parts. Perfect little sourdough glazed fruit buns, if I do say so! (Actually the in-house taster and an impromptu visitor agreed, so I think it’s a safe call!) Anyway, I wanted to share the slightly tweaked recipe while the buns still have currency.
The recipe doesn’t need any sweeteners. I was concentrating so hard on getting the spices right the second time round that I forgot to add the honey as I’d intended! And was nicely surprised to find it was perfectly sweet enough without. So, the only tweaks to the original recipe were extra spices, orange zest and salt (which I forgot the first time round – d’oh!) and that seemed to hit the right balance. I also soaked the fruit in port and water (okay, mostly port) for an hour. I think it would benefit from more time soaking, as the port was not detectable to my palate, and I think I’m usually a pretty good taste detective. I’ve posted the original recipe with these tweaks below, for ease of reference. I’ve also revised the resulting quantity, as this was a bit out. Freeze or give away what you can’t eat.
Refer to the instructions for making your own starter mix, and techniques for folding in and kneading in the original Tassajara sourdough post. And make sure you’ve got extra flour on hand for kneading, as it’s quite a sticky mix!
the night before
4.5 cups wholemeal flour
1 cup starter mixture
3.5 cups lukewarm water, plus extra for soaking the fruit
1.5 cups dried fruit (sultantas, raisins, currants)
zest of one small orange
a good slug of port or rosewater
in the morning
1/2 cup milk (heated to just below boiling and cooled to luke-warm)
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tbspn salt
3-4 cups rye flour and 2 cups wholemeal flour
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp allspice
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp aniseed
1 tbspn honey and 1 tbspn water for the glaze
the night before
Add starter to flour without mixing. Then mix together while adding water a cup at a time. Mix well to form a thick batter. Cover and leave in a warm place overnight to sour. This mixture is called the sponge. Place dried fruit and orange zest in a separate bowl, cover with a good slug of port (or rosewater) and water and place covered in fridge overnight to soak.
in the morning
Stir sponge and replenish your starter mixture with 1 cup of the sponge. Heat milk to just below boiling and remove from heat to cool. When you add the milk to the sponge, it should be neither hot nor cold on the wrist. Fold in the milk, beaten egg, salt and fruit-n-zest (drain off the liquids first, but reserve) until mostly combined. Then add the dry ingredients (spices and flour) and turn the spoon around the outer edge of the mixture, folding in to the centre to combine the ingredients (without ‘cutting’ the mixture) until you have a rough blob of dough. Turn dough onto a well-floured board and knead for five minutes, adding more flour as needed. When the dough becomes solid, roll it into a log shape, cut into individual buns and place on baking paper lined pans. Brush with the port (which the fruit soaked in) and sit in a warm place, covered with a damp teatowel, for an hour to rise.
Place honey and water in a pan and bring to a simmer, stirring. Remove from heat and brush tops of buns with glaze. Place buns in 220 degree celcius oven for 10 minutes, then bake for 30 minutes at 180 degrees celcius (cover with foil to prevent burning) or until cooked through. Remove from oven and glaze again. Cool slightly and serve with organic butter.
Makes about two dozen heavy buns – or 18 heavy buns and a small fruit loaf.