Winter is a great time to be experimenting with sourdough fruit buns. This batch came out of the oven on a cold Monday morning as ‘smoko’ for hungry men who had been working with our sheep all morning. These buns are slightly chewy and fill the kitchen with the most delicious sweet, earthy aroma when they are cooking.
I urge you to use good quality dried fruit, I buy mine from Tabletop Grapes. Their chemical free products smell like fruit cake before you even start baking with them!
Sourdough Fruit Buns
This recipe has been very loosely adapted from several bread recipes in the Bourke Street Bakery cookbook and the recipe for hot cross buns in the Real Food Companion. This recipe could be easily halved if necessary.
1530 g white bread flour
800 g active sourdough starter
800 ml water
40 g salt
Spices such as cinnamon to taste
360 g mixed dried fruit, soaked in water overnight and then drained. I use raisins, currants, barberries and figs. I chop the figs into small pieces.
¼ cup honey, warmed for glazing
Either by hand or in an electric mixer with a dough hook combine the starter, flour and water until a rough dough forms.
Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 20 minutes.
Add the salt. If using an electric mixer, mix for 6 minutes or until a smooth, elastic dough forms. If mixing by hand knead for 20 minutes or until a smooth, elastic dough forms. Add the fruit and spice if using. You will need to use your hands to work the fruit gently into the dough.
Place the dough into a lightly greased container and allow to bulk prove for about 1 hour.
Knock back the dough and allow to bulk prove for a further 1 hour.
Place dough on a clean, lightly floured or lightly oiled surface. With a dough divider, divide the dough into approximately 30 balls of dough, each weighing around 120 g. It can be a bit sticky but don’t be tempted to add too much extra flour…it will work in the end!
Shape the dough into balls.
Place the buns on large sheets of baking paper leaving a little room between each bun. I use two pieces of baking paper, ensuring each piece of paper will fit on my bread/pizza shovel. This ensures I can slide my shovel under the whole thing to place it into the oven more easily.
Allow the buns to prove until they are touching each other and have grown by around two-thirds. In the cold weather I leave them overnight to prove.
Preheat your oven to its highest temperature. I use a layer of unglazed terracotta tiles in my oven for bread baking. Ensure to place the tiles in a cold oven before you start preheating.
Carefully place the buns in the oven. Spray the buns with a mist of water before shutting the oven door.
Bake for 20 minutes, then turn the loaves around and bake for a further 10 minutes. The base of the buns should sound hollow when you tap them.
Using a brush, glaze the buns with warmed honey while they are warm. The honey glaze makes the buns sticky to handle but gives them a lovely shine and adds a little extra sweetness.
I know there are some keen sourdough cooks out there so I hope this is of interest to you!
Do you cook with dried fruit?
What is your favourite way to use dried fruit?
Do you ever have a hungry crew to feed at smoko time?
Today I am linking up with YeastSpotting.