Syrup-Filled Buns

These marvellous buns are rich in dried fruit and filled with a fudge-like syrup.

12 BUNS

1 oz. fresh yeast

4 oz. plus

2 teaspoon sugar

3 fl. oz. lukewarm water lj lb. flour

2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon grated rind and juice of

1 lemon

8 oz. currants or raisins

8 fl. oz. lukewarm milk egg yolks

1 oz. butter, softened

SYRUP

12 oz. soft brown sugar

4 fl. oz. water

1 oz. butter

1 oz. walnuts, finely chopped

Crumble the yeast into a small bowl and mash in the 1 teaspoon of sugar with a kitchen fork. Add the water and cream the water and yeast together to form a smooth paste. Set the bowl aside in a warm, draught-free place for 15 to 20 minutes or until the yeast mixture is puffed up and frothy.

Sift the flour, salt and cinnamon into a warmed, large mixing bowl. Add the remaining sugar, the lemon rind and juice and currants or raisins. Make a well in the centre and pour in the yeast, milk and egg yolks. Add the softened butter. Using your fingers or a spatula, gradually draw the flour mixture into the liquids. Continue mixing until all the flour is incorporated and the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl.

Turn the dough out on to a lightly floured board or marble slab and knead it for 10 minutes, reflouring the surface if the dough becomes sticky. The dough should be elastic and smooth.

Rinse, thoroughly dry and lightly grease the large mixing bowl. Shape the dough into a ball and return it to the bowl.

Cover the bowl with a clean damp cloth and set it in a warm, draught-free place. Leave it for 2 to 2 hours or until the dough has risen and has almost doubled in bulk.

Meanwhile, make the syrup. In a small saucepan, dissolve the sugar in the water, stirring constantly, over moderately low heat. Increase the heat to moderately high and boil the syrup for about 6 minutes or until the temperature reaches 230°F on a sugar thermometer or a small amount dropped into cold water forms a long thread when drawn between thumb and forefinger. Remove the pan from the heat. Set aside to cool for 3 minutes.

Cut the butter into small pieces and stir them into the syrup. Stir in the walnuts and keep the syrup warm. If the syrup hardens too quickly, reheat it over moderate heat until it becomes liquid again.

Turn the risen dough out of the bowl on to a floured surface and knead it for about 5 minutes. Roll and pull the dough out into an oblong about J-inch thick. Using a 2-inch pastry cutter, cut out 24 circles, gathering up the trimmings and rolling and pulling them out again. Place 12 of the dough circles on a large baking sheet. Brush the dough with some of the syrup. Place the remaining dough circles on top of the syrup-coated ones, pressing them together gently. Brush the dough with the remaining syrup.

Return the dough to a warm place for about 20 minutes or until the dough has almost doubled in bulk.

Preheat the oven to hot 425 °F (Gas Mark 7,220°C). Place the baking sheet in the centre of the oven and bake for 25 minutes or until the rolls are golden brown.

Remove the baking sheet from the oven and either serve them at once or transfer them to a wire rack to cool slightly before serving.

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