Apricot, Honey and Olive Oil Breakfast Buns
Portion/Yield:Makes 10 buns
I’m in heaven right now as it’s midsummer and local seasonal fruit and vegetables are in abundance everywhere. It’s great!
I saw some delicious-looking apricots at a local market recently, so I bought some (along with a few peaches and cherries) and then made my way home. En route, my thoughts started turning to the job in hand and what I could do with my fantastic finds (admittedly though, I chomped my way through most of the cherries in the car on the way home, so those were already taken care of!).
I used the peaches to create some delicious Peach, Poppy Seed and Yogurt Cakes and then put my thinking cap on for the apricots. Now Mr P loves an iced Belgian bun, so I came up with the idea of making a sweet yeast-style dough which incorporated some of the fresh apricots.
Well, here it is! Ta-da! I made the dough in the evening before I went to bed, then left it to rise slowly in the fridge overnight. The following morning (Sunday) I got up, turned the oven on, finished making the apricot buns using my perfect slow-risen dough, and soon we had freshly-baked apricot, honey and olive oil buns for breakfast in bed with a pot of coffee and the Sunday papers. I can recommend that it’s a lovely way to spend a lazy Sunday morning in bed!
Ingredients & Method
- 200ml milk
- 15g fresh yeast or 7g dried active yeast (don’t use fast-action dried yeast)
- 500g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
- 100ml buttermilk
- 1 tablespoon clear honey, plus extra for glazing
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for greasing and glazing
- a pinch of table salt
- 5 ripe but firm medium fresh apricots
- 1 tablespoon caster sugar, for dusting
To make the dough, gently heat the milk in a small saucepan until it reaches 37°C (blood temperature). Remove from the heat, add the yeast and stir or whisk until dissolved, then cover with cling film and leave to stand for about 10 minutes or until a light frothy foam forms on the surface.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, buttermilk, honey, oil and salt, then make a well in the centre and gradually add the yeast mixture, mixing well until the mixture comes together to form a soft dough. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for about 8 minutes or until silky smooth, soft and elastic, and then knead it into a smooth ball.
Lightly grease a deep bowl and place the dough ball in the bowl, then cover with a clean dry tea towel or cling film and leave to rise in a warm place until doubled in size. The rising time will depend on the room temperature, but it can take anything from 30 minutes to 1 hour. In the winter, the dough usually takes twice as long to rise.
Meanwhile, grease 2 large baking trays or line them with non-stick baking paper.
Once the dough is ready, turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface, knock it back, then divide the dough into 10 even portions, shaping each one into a smooth ball. Take each ball in your hand and make a well in the centre with your thumb. Cut the apricots in half, remove the stones and then place 1 apricot half, cut-side down, into each well, pushing the apricot half into the dough.
Place the buns on the prepared baking trays, leaving a 4–5cm gap between each one. Lightly cover them with a clean dry tea towel or cling film and leave to rise again (prove) in a warm place for about 30 minutes or until well risen. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas Mark 6.
Brush the top of each apricot with olive oil. Bake the buns in the oven for 25–30 minutes or until risen and golden brown. Tap the base of a bun and if it sounds hollow, then it’s cooked.
Remove from the oven and cool the buns slightly on the baking trays, then while they are still warm, generously drizzle the buns with honey to glaze (or you can use a pastry brush to get a more even glaze, if you like). Dust the buns with the sugar, then transfer them to a wire rack and leave to cool.
Serve the buns while they are still slightly warm, with a pot of tea or coffee, and enjoy them for breakfast or brunch.
Any leftover buns will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for a couple of days.