On this occasion, I decided to use up some ingredients kicking around in the blackbird cake cupboard. Amongst other things, I found a small amount of raisins and half a bag of chocolate chips. So I defrosted some croissant dough, convinced the kids to help and thought about a different take on Chelsea Buns.
I've never made Chelsea Buns, always wanted to, so I grabbed Dan Stevens wonderful 'Bread' book http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bread-River-Cottage-Handbook-No/dp/074759533X and followed his recipe, with a few variations thrown in.
I also decided that I would prove and bake the dough in a crown shape, using a 20cm round tin, which I use for our focaccia crowns
http://blackbirdbread.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/fit-for-queen.html and adds a nice twist to the end product.
Croissant Crown recipe
400g croissant dough, defrosted
(If you haven't got any croissant dough, combine 400g strong white bread flour, 45g caster sugar, 5g easy bake dried yeast, 7 g salt, 135ml warm milk, 200g butter and 1 egg in a bowl. Mix to a dough knead for 5 mins, put back in the bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave to prove for 1 hour).
For the filling
20g butter, melted
75g caster sugar
50g chocoalte chips
For the glaze
5g butter, melted
10g caster sugar
Line, or brush with melted butter, a 20 cm round tin.
Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough on a floured surface to a rectangle shape approx 50x40cm.
Brush the butter on the dough, leaving a small gap across the top of the dough. Scatter the choc chips, raisins and sugar on the dough, again leaving the top margin clear but filling the dough right to the edges with ingredients. Press the choc chips and raisins into the dough.
Starting with the edge closest to you, roll up the dough to make a long sausage and seal the top of the dough with a sprinkle of water. Gently roll it forming a seam under the dough.
Using a sharp knife, cut the roll into 12 (quite small) pieces. Place each piece into the round tin and gently press down upon them. It's a bit of a squeeze!
Cover with a tea towel and leave to rise for 45 mins. Switch the oven onto 200C.
After 45 mins, glaze with the melted butter and scatter the sugar over the top of the dough. Then place into the oven for 10 mins at 200C.
After 10 mins, lower the oven to 170C and revolve the tin by 180 degrees. Bake for a further 7-10 mins, although keep an eye on it as you don't want it to burn!
Leave to cool for 10 mins then carefully, using a palette knife, remove from the tin, or, if you're like me, take one piece to taste, then remove the rest!
The taste is heavenly. The croissant dough has puffed up, the chocolate chips are oozing, the raisins are plump and the sugar has caramelised! Yum! My lot had it for pudding and this is how it looks now!