Made with eggs and yeast and rich with currants and candied peel, these sweet buns were first made in Bath in the eighteenth century when this English spa was at the height of its popularity. Served at tea, they are usually split and buttered.
3 oz. plus
1 teaspoon sugar
5 fl. oz. lukewarm milk
½ oz. fresh yeast
1 lb. flour
1 teaspoon salt
4 oz. butter
2 eggs, lightly beaten
4 oz. currants
2 oz. candied peel
2 egg lightly beaten with
1 tablespoon milk and sweetened with
1 tablespoon sugar
2 oz. sugar
In a small mixing bowl dissolve 1 tea-spoon sugar in the warm milk. Crumble the yeast on top and mix well. Leave the milk-and-yeast mixture in a warm place for 15 minutes or until it becomes frothy.
Sift the flour and the salt into a warm mixing bowl and mix in the remaining sugar. With your fingertips rub the butter into the flour mixture.
Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and pour in the frothy yeast and the beaten eggs. Mix in with a fork and then, using well-floured hands, knead lightly to make a soft dough.
Put the dough in a greased bowl, cover with a cloth or a plastic bag and place in a warm place for 1 hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.
Turn the dough on to a floured board and knead in the currants and candied peel.
Preheat the oven to hot 375 °F (Gas Mark 5, 190°C). Lightly grease a baking sheet.
Divide the dough into 12 pieces and shape into buns. Place the buns on the baking sheet, well spaced to leave room for them to rise. Cover them with the cloth or plastic bag and place in a warm place to rise for another 30 minutes.
Brush the top with the sweetened egg and milk mixture and sprinkle with the sugar. Place the buns in the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes.