I took this recipe from Ruby Tandoh’s book ‘Crumb’ because the original recipe was just too delicious to be true. These buns are so sweet and almost jammy, with the crunch of pistachio giving them a really interesting texture too. At the same time I would like to recommend Ruby’s book to anyone with a love of baking, it not only contains some beautiful and really interesting recipes, but is written in a way that really conveys her love and knowledge of food. If you even wanted to know the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of baking, this book is for you.
For the dough
500g strong white flour
1.5 teaspoon of yeast
40g golden caster sugar
200ml FULL-FAT milk
60g unsalted butter
zest of 1 orange
For the filling:
80g unsalted butter
120g soft brown sugar
zest of 1 orange
1 egg to glaze
1. Place the strong white flour, yeast and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Gently heat the milk until slightly warm, then add 2 beaten eggs and 60g softened butter to the warm milk to make the liquid component of the dough. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour the liquid into the mix a little at a time. This is a very rich, sweet dough so the mixture will be very wet and sticky, but don’t panic.
2. You now need to ‘squelch’ all the liquid into the dry ingredients until all the flour has been incorporated in, and a rough dough has been formed. Leave the dough to rest for 15 minutes so all the liquid can absorb in.
3. Knead the dough for approximately 10 minutes until it is elastic and smooth. This dough is hard to work with, so a good kneading technique is to stretch and then scrunch the dough back into a ball repeatedly at the beginning. Try to avoid adding too much flour to the work surface. Leave to prove until the dough is double in size. This will take between 1-2 hours depending on the temperature (in the case of my drafty loft kitchen it took bloody ages).
4. Make the filling when you think the dough is on the verge of being well proven. Cream together the butter, brown sugar and zest until soft. Chop the pistachios into rough pieces. I added the blueberries whole but if you want a tighter swirl it might be worth chopping these in half too.
5. Gently roll the dough out to about a 50 by 25 rectangle. Gently spread the buttery-sugar mixture over the surface of the dough being careful not to tear it. Next sprinkle over the pistachios and blueberries.
7. Roll up the dough along it’s width, keeping the long edge the same length so it forms a sausage with the filling tucked inside. Cut the dough into 12-13 segments. These will form your swirls. Leave to prove for a further 45-60 mins. Keep them covered by cling film and in a warm place.
8. Preheat the oven to 180•C. Brush the buns with a beaten egg then bake for 20-25 minutes.