Monday, 26 May 2014
Blueberry and lemon quick buns
We have reached the end of bank holiday season. It's been so wonderful to have Easter and the two May bank holidays so close together, so many short working weeks has made this spring just fly by. And now it's almost the end of May, I swear someone robbed me of at least two weeks as the month has just flown by. May is such a special month to me, it's my birthday as well as the birthday of many good friends. This year I have preponed (not even Google seems to be sure if this is a real word or not...) my birthday to today, as the UK has been so rude as not to have a bank holiday on my actual birthday. I feel very resentful about this, as I enjoyed my bank holiday birthday last year. So I decided to make myself a delicious birthday breakfast today instead.
I think coming up to a birthday will give you the right to muse a bit about your life so far. In fact, two short birthdays ago my life was very different. My birthday fell on a Sunday, and I decided to bake some blueberry and strawberry scones to celebrate. The scones turned out to be a complete disaster as I forgot to turn the heat on in the oven, I had only turned on the lamp, and after 20 minutes of nothing happening with the scones in the oven, I suspected something was wrong. When I finally managed to bake the scones they were rather ugly blobs. There I was sitting in my tiny shoebox penthouse apartment all alone with not the slightest idea in the world that my life was about to change. Back in those days I still worked at the Wellcome Trust, and my bestest friend lived in the same city with me. A month later I went on the first date with the Culinary Consultant. Exactly a year later, I had finished my job contract, was about to start a new job and was cleaning out my apartment as I moved in together with the Culinary Consultant in his bachelor pad. In fact, last year's bank holiday Monday was the last day I spent in my old place. Since then I have changed jobs again and I'm rather happy I did. Last July we moved from the tiny bachelor pad to our countryside home, which to me is a dream come true. And we can still put up with the sight of each other. As I'm enjoying my slightly early birthday breakfast, I can't help but think I might be one of the luckiest people alive.
The recipe for my yummy breakfast is from the ever so deliciously looking The English Kitchen blog. I know I end up making so many recipes from that blog, but what can you do, her taste is really close to mine in so many things! This is what I love about blogging and following blogs, it takes a while of reading a blog until you know whether you want to follow it or not. And after a while you get curious about the people who write the blog. And they have all these amazing stories and experiences and you almost feel like you know them. The lady writing The English Kitchen seems like one of those people you could just sit down and have tea with and she would be the most lovely person on the world. And her recipes are always delicious, and every time I have tried them they turn out perfect.
Blueberry and lemon quick breakfast buns (serves 6-8):
250 g all purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
finely grated zest of 1/2 lemon
pinch of salt
3 tbsp sugar
40 g butter
1 large egg
75 ml buttermilk (I made my own by adding a tsp of vinegar to milk)
a splash of buttermilk for brushing
For the filling:
12 tbsp sugar (I only used 8 as it seemed enough...)
55 g butter
zest from 1 lemon
250 g blueberries
For the glaze
195 g icing sugar
grated zest from 1/2 lemon
juice from 1 lemon
15 g softened butter
a splash of milk
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C and butter a oven proof dish. The original recipe says oval dish 12 inches and 8 inches at it's widest. I used a rectangular 10x6.5 in dish, which left a bit of room between the buns, but they expanded to fill that extra room. Mix the flour, baking powder, grated lemon zest, salt and sugar in a bowl. Using your fingers, mix in the butter until the consistency of coarse sand. Mix the egg and buttermilk, and mix into the dough. Only mix until the dough has just come together. If needed, add another splash of milk if the dough is too dry.
To prepare the filling, mix the sugar, butter and lemon zest in small bowl, and rub everything together using your fingers.
Knead the dough once or twice on the table. Then pat the dough out into a rectangle about 8 times 12 inches and 1/2 in thick. I did this on a parchment sheet to help the upcoming rolling step. Spread the flavoured butter on the dough and add the blueberries, gently pressing the filling into to dough. Use the parchment paper to roll the dough into a tight roll along the long side. Pinch the dough together at the seam to ensure that the filling stays in the roll. Cut the roll into eight slices using a sharp knife and place in the oven proof dish. Brush with buttermilk and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden and bubbling.
While the buns are baking, prepare the glaze. Mix the ingredients for the glaze, adding enough milk to make it a runny consistency. Spread onto the buns when they come out of the oven, and let stand for a few minutes. Serve warm.
These quick buns are amazing. I had one for breakfast, and then picked away at a few during the day as I couldn't pass the dish with the buns without having a spoonful or two. They are the easy way out if you love buns for breakfast but don't want to wait for the yeasted kind to proof as you once again forgot to pre-make the dough the previous evening. They are sweet and juicy. And the lemon goes really well with the blueberries. Often recipes that are named "lemon" something only have a very faint flavour of lemon. This recipe has enough lemon so that you can taste it. I thought the scone dough would be difficult to work with, but it was really easy to roll and kept it's shape really well during baking. There is quite a lot of glaze, so you might want to consider only making half of it if you are a fan of light glazes, although I think the glaze is the crowning glory, so I was happy to have loads of it.