Best Buns

Lovely Sarah is 15, she adores chocolate, her "bete noire" : onions. She and her parents came to visit from Ireland over the week-end. To welcome them I had baked so they would arrive to the sight and smell of warm buns. We all sat down, swapping news when suddenly a little voice interrupted the conversation with a "off the record" these are the best buns I have ever ever had in my entire life". They are very nice indeed. Here is the recipe, extracted from this month Waitrose's free magazine:

425g strong white bread flour, plus extra dor dusting
7g sachet esasy-blend dried yeast
75g slightly salted butter, melted
2 large eggs, beaten
100g caster sugar
250f tub ricotta cheese
50g Vanilla sugar, plus 1 tsp to sprinkle ( or use vanilla extract springled on caster sugar)
150g fresh blueberries (or use frozen, without defrosting)

  1. Mix the flour, yeast, butter, eggs and caster sugar in a bowl. Add 100-150ml hand hot water and mix to a soft but not too sticky dough. (If necessary, add a little more flour to make the mixture more manageable.)
  2. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Put in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave to rise in a warm place for 1-2 hours until the dough has doubled in size.
  3. Cut out 12 x 14cm squares of baking parchment. Mix the ricotta in a bowl with the vanilla sugar and 50g of the blueberries.
  4. Preheat the oven to 220C, gas mark 7. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead in the remaining blueberries. Cut into 12 even-sized pieces.
  5. Flatten each piece down on the surface, stretching it until slightly larger than the palm of your hand. Spoon a little ricotta mixture into the centre of each piece of dough. Pull the edges of the dough up over the filling to enclose and pinch the edges together to make bundles. (Don’t worry about making them look neat!)
  6. Press a square of parchment into one section of a muffin or Yorkshire pudding tin and drop a bundle of dough into it. Repeat with the remainder then cover loosely with clingfilm and leave to rise in a warm place until risen to about half the size again.
  7. Bake the buns for 15 minutes, until golden. Lift onto a wire rack and sprinkle generously with the extra vanilla sugar. Serve warm or cold.

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