Saturday, February 16, 2019

Bread Baking Babes Go Hollywood - Paul, that is

Having obsessed over the Great British Baking Show for took me months to watch all the many episodes and then all the Master Class episodes I could find on Netflix (or was it Amazon Prime??)... it was wonderful to find that our Kitchen of the Month maven, Tanna of My Kitchen in Half Cups, chose a recipe from Paul Hollywood from one of those episodes for our monthly bake and for our Anniversary month. I didn't make too many changes to the dough, but changed the filling quite a bit.

This one was originally themed for Christmas, with Chelsea buns shaped into a Christmas Tree shape and then decorated, once baked, with swags of icing and candied fruit and pistachios for color. Since it was Valentine's day when I baked mine, I went with a free-form heart, but you really have to use your imagination to see the heart shape - see photo above. For a filling I combined diced Granny Smith apple with chopped dates, dried cranberries, and chopped walnuts, plus non-dairy margarine and some brown sugar. The filling also had some apple-pear juice, some cinnamon, and some orange peel. Once baked, I glazed the buns with melted marmalade. They were much less showy than the Christmas tree, but delicious and just right for dessert on Valentine's day after our very healthy and veggie rich dinner. My Sweetie managed to consume three of the buns, so I know they were appreciated.

So you might be saying, "What are Chelsea Buns?" Really they are rolled buns like traditional cinnamon buns. This dough doesn't have sugar, but you could add some if you like. The filling I made didn't have sugar either, but the fruits are sweet-tart and the brown sugar I scattered over the fruits once they were spread on the rolled out dough did the rest of the sweetening. Even the marmalade was a low sugar type, because that's what I had. The dough is rich with eggs and 'butter' and I used some white whole wheat flour for part of the flour, too.

Do try these. They are fun to make and fun to eat. Your kitchen will also smell wonderful!

Be sure to visit the other Bread Baking Babes to see their versions.

If you would like to be a Buddy, make your version of the buns, take a photo, and e-mail Tanna with a short description of your baking experience, the photo, and a link to your own post. Do it by Feb. 28th and she will e-mail you our Buddy Badge to post, too.

Chelsea Bun Heart

Based on recipe By:

Serving Size: 15



800 g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting (I used 400 g bread flour and 200 g white whole wheat flour)
1 tablespoon salt
15 g sachet fast-acting yeast (about two packets of American dry yeast)
400 ml milk (I used same amount of soy creamer)
60 g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing (I used same amount of non-dairy margarine)
2 free-range eggs

For the filling
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled , cored, and finely diced
100 g pitted dried dates, chopped
50 g dried cranberries
1/4 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
200 ml apple-pear juice
85 g  walnuts, chopped
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
40 g non-dairy margarine, softened
120 g brown sugar

To finish
3 tablespoons orange low-sugar marmalade


1. Place the flour into a large mixing bowl, add the salt to one side and the yeast to the other side. 

2. Warm the milk and butter in a small saucepan until the butter is melted and the mixture is lukewarm. 

3. Pour into the flour mixture, add the eggs and stir thoroughly until the contents of the bowl come together as a soft dough. The dough will be sticky. 

4. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead well for 5 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic. Alternatively this can be done in a stand mixer using a dough hook. 

5. Place the dough into an oiled bowl and leave to rise, covered with a damp tea towel, for one hour or until doubled in size. 

6. For the filling, mix the diced apple, dates, dried cranberries, orange zest, 
 cinnamon, apple-pear juice, and walnuts in a small saucepan. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until filling is cooked and most of juice has evaporated. Let cool.

7. Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Roll out dough into a rectangle about 20 in x 14 in. 

8. Tack down the long side of the dough rectangle nearest to you by pressing it down onto the work surface with your thumb. Use a small offset spatula to make a thin layer all over with the non-dairy 'butter', leaving a 1" uncovered edge along the long edge. When you roll up the dough, roll from the opposite long edge. Then spread the cooled filling mixture over the dough leaving a 1" border. Roll the opposite long side of the dough towards you quite tightly, until the roll is complete and tight. Trim the ends to neaten. 

9. With a sharp knife, or crossed dental floss, cut into 15 thick rounds - about 1.5in. 

10. Line a very large baking tray (or use the grill tray from your oven) with baking parchment. 

11. Arrange rolls on the prepared tray, cut side up, in heart shape: You want them to be close enough so that when they rise further and then bake; they will bake with their sides touching. They can then be pulled apart and you get a lovely soft edge. (I used the cut off ends at the top outside of the heart for fun. Not much filling, but still tasty.)

12. Cover loosely and let rise for 30 - 45 minutes. 

13. Preheat oven to 350 F. 

14. When the buns are ready, put them in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden-brown. 

15. Check after 15 minutes or so and cover the buns with foil if they are getting too brown. 

16. Remove the buns from the oven and let them cool slightly before transferring them from the tin to a cooling rack. 

17. Melt the marmalade in a small saucepan with a splash of water until melted. Brush the jam over the buns to glaze and allow to cool. It's OK if some pieced of candied peel are on the buns, too. Serve warm or cooled.


Note: This recipe contains U.K. measurements and may require conversions to U.S. measurements. 
For best results, use a kitchen scale with a TARE feature to weigh your ingredients. The recipe has also not been professionally tested. 

HAHA! see that last note ... sort of makes you feel free doesn't it. Mess with it, create your own filling....go wild!


  1. Oh they really do look gorgeous with that glaze!

  2. I love your apple filling! I almost made an apple cinnamon filling for mine until I decided to go savory.

  3. Your filling sounds wonderful! And the heart is beautiful surrounded by the red ribbon.

    Happy Anniversary!

  4. It looks very festive! And the glaze is a wonderful finish.