Diamond jubilee celebrations have begun here in Britain and whether one is in favour of the royal family or not (I am), it is hard to screw one’s nose up at the prospect of two public holidays. Only two monarchs in British history have had cause to celebrate 60 years of reign, though arguably such a thing meant a little more in the days of Queen Victoria who celebrated her diamond jubilee in 1897. Still, it is clear from the festive atmosphere to be found in Britain, as well as other countries, that the support and excitement surrounding the multi-national Royal Family remains palpable. Clearly, this is a very important time for Britain and failing to mark the occasion with a sweet and very British treat would be a little remiss. So, despite the rather gloomy lighting conditions, I hope you all enjoy my iced buns.
It would seem that recipes are slowly creeping back into my cooking. Indeed, this was my first attempt at making iced buns and I thought a specific method ought to be followed. Iced buns have a very specific set of criteria; they should be soft, ever so slightly sweet and golden brown, but with only a gentle sniff of crust. Luckily, I stumbled across a corking recipe on BBC GoodFood which produced utter perfection. These buns can in no way be improved – you have, rather quickly, reached the pinnacle. Enjoy the festivities!
God save the Queen and all that royalist phlegm.
Jubilee Iced Buns
• 225g plain flour
• 225g strong white bread flour
• 7g sachet of fast action yeast, or equivalent
• 125ml warm water
• 125ml milk
• 2 tsp salt
• 50g caster sugar
• 1 egg, beaten
• 50g butter
• A little oil
• 225g icing sugar
• 1 tsp red food colouring
• 1 tsp blue food colouring
• A little water
1. Mix together the flours, yeast, water, milk, salt and sugar. Once it has all come together add the egg followed by the butter. Once you have a uniform, sticky dough, turn it out onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes. Grease a large bowl, pop in the dough and leave to rise in a warm place for an hour or so.
2. Once the dough has risen knock it back, divide into eight lumps, shape and place on floured baking trays. Leave to prove under a tea towel for 30 minutes.
3. Preheat the oven to 220C. Bake the buns for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown. Leave to cool completely before icing. To make the icing follow the guide on the packaging, divide into three bowls and colour accordingly.
Cost: Every ingredient in these wonderfully simple, yet decadent buns is very cheap; the entire batch should set one back a mere £1.30. Clearly, making these would be an incredibly frugal and cheerful way to celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee.