Snow Day Apple Buns

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We’ve been snowed in for three days, and I’ve been having a lot of fun taking photos and eating carbs. Today I made these apple buns, which are my own invention, and I thought I’d share the recipe:

For the dough:

150ml buttermilk, fridge temperature

150ml hot water

Three-quarters of a teaspoon of easy-bake yeast

550g strong flour

1 tablespoon sugar, or vanilla sugar if you have it

1 egg (if I was making this again, I might add an extra yolk)

Half a teaspoon of salt

Combine the buttermilk and water in a large mixing bowl and sprinkle the yeast on top. Mix to combine, then add the flour, sugar, egg and salt. Stir together until it makes a shaggy dough. Knead by hand or machine, adding a little extra flour if the dough is very sticky, until the dough passes the windowpane test. Wipe out your mixing bowl and pour a little oil in the bottom, then form the dough into a ball and turn it over in the bowl to coat. Cover and let it sit in a warm room or in the hot press until doubled in volume.

Meanwhile, prepare the filling:

For the filling:

1 cooking apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped

A good squeeze of lemon juice

A quarter cup of sliced almonds

A small handful of raisins (probably about a third of a cup?)

Half a cup of light brown sugar, don’t go mad packing it into the cup

Half a teaspoon of mixed spice

Two tablespoons of flour

Mix together everything but the flour and it’s ready to use.

Assembling the buns:

Grease a large baking dish or cake pan with butter or oil. When the dough is risen, turn it out onto a floured surface. Firmly press and/or roll it (I did both) into a large rectangle, about 18x9 inches, but you don’t have to be too exact. Brush the surface lightly with melted butter or oil, then spread the filling mix over the dough, making sure it goes all the way to the edges. Sprinkle the flour over the top.

Starting at one of the long edges of the rectangle, carefully roll the dough up. You will have a long sausage of dough about 18 inches long. Using a serrated knife, carefully cut the sausage into sections of about 1 inch. Carefully place the spirals into the baking dish; some of them will get pretty squashed, but it’s fine.

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Cover the dish with a clean tea towel and let it hang out on the counter for about half an hour. Then preheat your oven to 170C, and when it’s heated, put the buns in (sans teatowel, obviously).

I didn’t actually make a note of how long these baked for, but it was around 45 minutes. When I took them out, they had an internal temp of 93ish degrees, and they looked like this:

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Set the buns aside to cool off a bit, while you make the icing. I just did a very basic glaze, but get fancy, if you feel like it.

For the glaze:

200g icing sugar

a couple tablespoons of water (start with one tbsp, then add more if it’s needed)

half a teaspoon of vanilla extract

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Mix all the ingredients together thoroughly. When the buns are warm rather than hot, spread the icing over the top.

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Summon your family or housemates and marvel at how fast these things disappear.

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Previously: that one time I lost my sense of taste for two years, and learned a surprising amount about food in the process.

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