I've been determined to give my new food mixer a good work out, to test it's capabilities and to see if it's a worthwhile addition to the kitchen. After making pastry and cake batter, the next thing to try was yeast dough. This is something that I don't have consistent success with - a recipe which works well once can fail miserably the second time round. I've also been a fan of Dan Lepard's breadmaking method, which advocates a few, very brief, kneading periods before leaving the dough to rise, not least because I know my hands are not strong enough to knead dough for up to ten minutes.
I chose an enriched dough for Chelsea Buns, from the recipe book that came with the food mixer. It didn't look a lot different to many other recipes I could find online and in my cookery books. The dough was made from 500g strong white flour, salt and dried yeast, enriched with one egg, a little butter and sugar, and mixed to a soft dough with warm milk. After mixing with the dough hook for 4 minutes, the dough was left to rise in the mixer bowl, with the hook left in place. I am lucky that my oven has a dough proving setting, to ensure a constant warmth, as my kitchen can be quite cold - this is a new feature for me, as the oven is only a few months old. When the dough had doubled in size the mixer was used to knock back the dough, and it was then ready for shaping.
Instead of following the recipe and making 12 large buns, with the traditional filling of sugar, butter, spices and dried fruit, I rolled the dough out to make a longer thinner roll which could be cut into 16 smaller pieces and filled it with 200g mincemeat. These were placed in a 10" cake tin which had been greased and base lined with parchment. After the second rising the buns were baked at 200c for 20 minutes, then glazed with honey as soon as they came out of the oven.
I was really pleased with the texture of the buns, although I'm not sure how much was down to using the food mixer and how much was due to being able to prove the dough in a warm enclosure. I used a really basic marmalade which just tasted of vine fruit and spice, so the buns weren't much different to traditional Chelsea Buns in flavour.
Bread and Butter Pudding recipe from the BBC Good Food website. I used the custard part of the recipe, along with a handful of chopped apricots and some gooseberry jam, with the sliced Chelsea buns replacing the bread and the other dried fruit. I didn't use any brandy in the recipe, either. I really loved the addition of lemon zest to the custard, and wouldn't have guessed it was a low-fat recipe, but in future I would make it in a deeper smaller dish to get a softer centred pudding..