RECIPE: The recipe is a photocopy I’ve had for ages and I don’t remember the book it came from. I didn’t alter it, apart from substituting some chopped sultanas because I didn’t have enough currants. I found a similar recipe online (see below) – the main difference being my recipe had two eggs in the dough. Much like the comment on the online recipe – the baking time is much shorter than in the recipe/s.
COMPONENTS: First you make a basic sweet rich dough. I kneaded it for about ten minutes – the recipe didn’t provide a guideline other than getting it to a smooth and elastic state. I wasn’t getting a rise from the dough in the 22 degree kitchen, so I turned on my freestanding oven and sat it on the stovetop, where it rose beautifully.
ASSEMBLY: I spread the rolled out dough with soft butter, sprinkled with a small amount of sugar, folded it then re-rolled it, before spreading the currants and sugar over it. It rolled up easily, then I cut the log into 12 pieces and used two sandwich pans (round ones I use for sponge cakes) where six slices fitted in each tin perfectly. As I’ve noted above, despite the recipe saying 15-18 minutes for baking, I checked at 10 and it was pretty much cooked. I spread the glaze and returned to the oven for 30 seconds.
IMPRESSION: I have memories of chelsea buns being sweet and sticky, but these were fairly bland. I remembered they sometimes had icing and nuts on top, so I added those components, but it still wasn’t right. Some recipes seem to have a lot more sugar added in the rolling stage, and more dried fruit; perhaps this would be an improvement. The texture was moist and light. I let it cook a touch longer than ideal (but still less than the recommended time), so the crust was a bit dry.
Very similar recipe at BBC Good Food.