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Kate’s Blueberry Buns

Freshly ground cardamom, cinnamon and blueberries give these teacakes a distinct Scandi flavour. They’re delicious served warm, spread with cinnamon butter and fresh blueberry conserve.

Makes: 12

Hands-on time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Baking time: 20 minutes

Skill level: Easy

For the dough:

300ml full-fat milk

50g unsalted butter, softened, diced

500g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting

1 teaspoon salt

75g golden caster sugar

1 x 7g sachet fast-action dried yeast

1½ teaspoons ground cardamom (from about 12-15 pods)

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 medium egg, at room temperature, beaten

150g dried blueberries

100ml hot water

To glaze:

2 tablespoons clear honey

1 tablespoon boiling water

For the blueberry conserve/compote:

250g fresh blueberries

50g caster sugar

1½ tablespoons water

For the cinnamon butter:

50g unsalted butter, softened

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1-2 teaspoons icing sugar, to taste

You will also need:

2 baking sheets, lined with baking paper

 

Step 1 – To make the dough: first heat the milk until it’s steaming hot. Add the butter and stir until melted. Leave to cool until lukewarm (the liquid should just feel comfortable when you dip your little finger in).

Step 2 – Put the flour into a large bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the salt and sugar and mix thoroughly. Sprinkle the yeast into the bowl, mix well, then stir in the cardamom and cinnamon.

Step 3 – Make a well in the centre of the mixture and pour in the lukewarm milk mixture and the beaten egg. Gradually work everything together with your hand, or the dough-hook attachment of the mixer (on the slowest speed), to make a very soft and slightly sticky dough.

Step 4 – Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured worktop and knead thoroughly for about 10 minutes, until the dough feels stretchy, elastic and slightly firmer – if using the dough-hook, knead the dough for 5 minutes on the slowest speed.

Step 5 – Return the dough to the bowl (cleaned and lightly oiled with sunflower oil) if you were kneading by hand, then cover tightly with cling film or a snap-on lid and leave to rise in a warm spot for about 1 hour, until doubled in size.

Step 6 – While the dough is rising, put the dried blueberries into a bowl and pour over the hot water. Leave to soak and plump up for 10 minutes then drain thoroughly in a sieve. Tip out onto a plate lined with a sheet of kitchen paper towel, to take away any excess moisture (if the berries are soggy they will make the dough too damp and heavy).

Step 7 – Punch down, or knock back, the risen dough to deflate it then turn it out onto a lightly floured worktop. Scatter the drained blueberries over the dough, then dust your fingers with flour and very gently knead the dough for about 4-5 minutes, so the berries are evenly distributed.

Step 8 – Weigh and divide the dough into 12 equal portions. Shape each portion into a neat ball, making sure there are no berries poking out of the dough (to avoid scorching), then gently flatten with your fingers to make 12 perfectly round 9cm discs. Space them well apart on the lined baking sheets and cover loosely with cling film. Leave to prove and rise on the worktop for about 20-25 minutes, until almost doubled in size. Towards the end of the rising time, heat your oven to 200°C/180°C fan/400°F/Gas 6.

Step 9 – After they have risen, bake the teacakes for about 20 minutes, until golden brown. For best results, rotate the baking sheets after 15 minutes so the teacakes bake evenly. When they’re ready, remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack. Mix the honey with the boiling water to make a thin glaze, then quickly and lightly brush onto the hot teacakes. Leave to cool completely.

Step 10 – Make the blueberry compote: put the berries, sugar and water into a medium pan and heat gently (stirring frequently) until the juices start to run. Bring to the boil (stirring constantly), then cook for about 8 minutes (stirring frequently) until the mixture is thick and jammy. Transfer to a heatproof serving bowl. Leave to cool then chill for about 30 minutes, until set.

Step 11 – Make the cinnamon butter: put the butter into a small bowl, add the cinnamon and icing sugar and beat with a wooden spoon until light and fluffy. Transfer to a serving bowl and leave at a cool room temperature until ready to serve.

Step 12 – Serve the teacakes, split in half and toasted, with the compote and the butter.