After all our jam making sessions, we have a fridge full of jam. And although we are quite efficient at destroying it, I thought I would speed up the process a bit more by making some lovely jam buns. I just don't want to take the chance that our jam goes bad. Which is why we made relatively small batches of each jam, and put the rest of the fruit in the freezer for more jammin' sessions later in the winter. Right now our freezer is jam packed with produce from our garden and our mission is to make sure we actually eat everything before next spring (something we didn't quite achieve this year).
This is a well used and trusted recipe for bun dough. It's from the Finnish website Kinuskikissa, and it always turns out great. You can either skip the ground cardamom or add it, as I Finn I would say buns are not buns if there isn't cardamom in them but if you absolutely detest it, leave it out. If you are undecided, I would suggest just give it a try. You won't regret it. It is such a wonderful flavour and it goes so well with the blackberries.
For this recipe you absolutely have to use home made blackberry and apple jam. It's only acceptable if it's been made from berries you picked yourself. Just kidding, just kidding. You can use any jam you like. I just can't get enough of our lovely blackberry and apple jam.
Blackberry and poppy seed buns (makes 12):
For the bun dough:
7-7.5 dl (2 3/4 - 3 cups) strong bread flour
1 1/2 tsp dried instant (fast-action) yeast
1 dl (1/3 cup plus one tablespoon) sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp ground cardamom
2.5 dl (1 cup) room temperature milk
80 g melted butter
1 egg (technically speaking you should use 1/2 egg for this amount of dough, but I can't be bothered to use just half an egg so I just add a whole egg and it doesn't seem to make the dough any worse. If you want to use some egg wash to brush your buns before baking you could leave some of the egg for that)
For the filling:
1 tsp vanilla paste
About 1 cup of blackberry and apple jam
3-4 tbsp poppy seeds
For the glaze:
zest and juice from one lemon
4-5 tbsp icing sugar
In a large bowl, mix the flour (use 7 dl at this stage), yeast, sugar, salt and cardamom. Add milk, melted butter and egg. Mix to form a dough. Tip onto a lightly floured work surface and knead. The dough is a bit soggy, so I prefer to use only my right hand to knead and use a dough scraper in my left hand. If the dough is completely impossible, add some flour a little bit at a time, up to 1/2 dl (about 1/4 cup). The dough will start getting less sticky and more elastic as you knead it. I usually end up adding about a tablespoon or two during the kneading. Place dough back in an oiled bowl, cover with cling film and leave to rise for about 2 hours or until doubled in size. If it's cold or the yeast is a bit slow, the rise could take even longer. When the dough has approximately doubled in volume and it springs back when you push it with a finger, it has risen enough.
Tip the dough back onto a work surface and knead a few times to knock the air out of the dough. Roll out to a rectangle and drizzle with the vanilla paste. Spread the blackberry jam on top, and sprinkle poppy seeds. Roll into a tight log and cut into 12 pieces. I prefer to use dental floss to cut the roll, it results in the neatest cuts, believe it or not. Place in an oven proof dish leaving about an inch between the rolls. Cover with cling film and leave for a second proof for about 30-40 minutes, until the rolls are almost touching each other. Heat oven to 190 degrees C and bake for 20-25 minutes. If the buns are getting a bit too dark, you can cover them with foil to prevent them to turn very dark like mine did.
Leave the buns to cool for 15-20 minutes. Prepare the glaze by grating the lemon zest and squeezing the juice into a bowl. Add enough icing sugar to make a thick paste. Drizzle onto the buns. Serve warm.
The best thing you can bake with yeast is buns. Well, maybe in addition to bread, but still. And one of the best things you can put inside buns in jam. These buns are sticky and sweet and amazingly good. I put a few of them in the freezer thinking the rest would last us a good few days. Well, they didn't. I inhaled several as soon as they came out of the oven. Hence the picture with a few buns missing...