Zorra of Kochtopf is hosting The World Day of Bread on 16 October 2007 for the second year in a row. This blogging event simply requires participants to bake or buy bread and blog about it - it's that simple!
My success to date baking with yeast has been limited - read "my bread didn't rise". Despite this, I decided to give it another chance and selected Chelsea buns as my bread of choice. A wonderful summary of the history of the Chelsea bun by Anna of Baking for Britain can be found here. I loved Chelsea buns as a child, with their soft, spicy, fruity centres and bright pink icing (although according to Anna, they should be coated with a honey glaze before baking rather than iced).
As with many traditional favourites, there are a myriad of recipes for Chelsea buns. The recipe which I chose can be found here. The beauty of this recipe is that it didn't require the dough to proof overnight like some other bun recipes, and given my short timeframe, I couldn't devote 24 hours or so to making my buns. The only changes that I made to the recipe were to use 1 sachet of live dry yeast instead of compressed yeast, and to replace the suggested spices with one teaspoon of cinnamon and one teaspoon of cardamom. I used only sultanas for the fruit component of the buns, consistent with those buns which I remember from my childhood.
To try and trick the yeast into rising, I placed the bread dough under my bedroom touch lamp, which generates quite a bit of heat. This seemed to do the trick, as my dough actually rose, making for a very happy Cakelaw :) I also chose to ice the buns in accordance with the recipe and the buns that I am used to, even if this is not strictly traditional for Chelsea buns.
I took the buns into work to share with my colleagues, and gathering from the speed with which they disappeared, I think they were a hit ;)
Thanks to Zorra for hosting the World Day of Bread, and I look forward to being inspired into baking bread more often by the roundup!
Postscript: The roundup is now available here.