|10g||quick-action dried yeast|
|650g||strong white flour, plus some for kneading|
|275g||unsalted butter, softened|
|4||white sugar cubes|
Warm the milk to 30°C in a pan and whisk in the yeast. Leave for 10 minutes, until frothy.
Combine the flour, sugar and salt in a bowl and work in the butter with your fingertips. Stir in the milk, then bring together into a dough. If you’re kneading by hand, allow to rest for 20 minutes; if you have a mixer, fit the dough hook and start kneading until it becomes elastic. This usually takes 10 minutes in the mixer or 15 by hand.
Cover the dough and allow to rise in a warm place for 2 hours or until doubled in size.
Turn the dough out on to a floured surface and poke it out into a flat shape. Sprinkle on the sultanas and quickly work them in. Divide into 12 pieces.
With floured hands, shape each bun. Pull the corners of each piece over and down, pinching them together underneath. Keep stretching and tucking so it looks like the upper surface of the bun is stretched tight over the insides. This membrane will hold the bun’s shape as it rises and cooks and give the characteristic smooth crust.
Lay the buns on a sheet of quick-release silicone paper on a baking tray, with plenty of room between them for expansion. Allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in size again.
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Glaze the buns with the beaten egg, then cook in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the underside of the buns sounds hollow when knocked.
Dissolve the sugar in the hot water to make a syrup. As soon as the buns come out of the oven, paint the syrup over them. Before the glaze dries, crush the sugar cubes with a rolling pin and sprinkle over the top.
This is my favourite breakfast at Fitzbillies bakery, where I work. Hot out of the oven, split and packed with damson jam and clotted cream.