Tag Archives: buns

The Sourdough Spiced Apple and Cider Bun

A woman from Rye apparently said that these were the best buns she had ever eaten.  Which is nice.  They know their buns in Rye.

I was asked to bake for the Great Dixter Autumn Fair cake stall, where various extremely good bakers donate cakes in aid of these wonderful gardens.  I thought I would put together all I knew about buns into one deluxe bake: the dough was a sourdough with the addtion of grated apple marinated in cider; ricotta cheese; butter; a little sugar; and an egg.  The fruit in the middle was more grated apple and small pieces of dried apple, sultanas, currants and crystalised ginger, all marinated in sweetened cider with the addition of freshly ground cinnamon and cloves.  For the rolling of the buns, a thread of marzipan was added to the centre, to give a nice little surprise and additional sweetness.

A stick of marzipan for the middle of the Spiced Apple and Cider Sourdough Buns

Cooling buns

The last two buns go to a good home

So that went well.  But, as my wife pointed out, the unit cost of each bun was over £5, if you include my time for preparation and the baking.  Maybe I will try something less ambitious, next time?

Check out my buns!

My wife told them: ‘Oh, Phil will bake something for the event!’ And by 11am on the day she is calling me on the phone: ‘Are they ready yet?’

Baking a good bun takes time, even when you are not sure what you are going to do. I started by making a sourdough with some bubbly starter, Strong White Flour, salt and water, to create a base with some strong gluten. While that was rising, I gave some thought as to what, exactly, I was going to bake.

I decided I would do two types of rolled buns, one sweet and one savoury. The sweet one had dried fruits, soaked overnight in water, with the dough supplemented with butter, ricotta cheese, caster sugar, coconut ‘flour’ and some more Strong White. The fruit, once drained, was mixed with freshly ground spices (cinammon, cardamon and cloves, ground and sieved), flaked almonds and mixed peel.

The savoury was more of an experiment. I have mentioned earlier the Greek-style flatbreads with cheese and mint, so I thought I roll based on those would be interesting. The dough was supplemented with ricotta cheese, butter and very strong wholemeal flour and the filling was grated Halloumi cheese (which bakes down to nothing, like butter), cubed Feta, fresh mint leaves (coarsely chopped) and pine nuts.

Spiced fruit and almond buns in a coconut sourdough, with cheese, mint and pine nut savoury buns

Spiced fruit and almond buns in a coconut sourdough, with cheese, mint and pine nut savoury buns

I baked the fruit buns first, since I thought the cheese buns would be better hot, then rushed them up to the event.

It was only when people started tucking in that I realised: I didn’t actually know what they tasted like.

I had an extra batch, which I baked and had for lunch. They were lovely!