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Benjamina Ebuehi’s recipe for earl grey cardamom buns | Baking

Benjamina Ebuehi’s recipe for earl grey cardamom buns | Baking
Benjamina Ebuehi’s recipe for earl grey cardamom buns | Baking

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Who can resist a good cardamom bun? I’ll always choose cardamom over cinnamon – it just feels much brighter and more fragrant, and especially good for this time of year. I’ve boosted the flavour with cosiness by incorporating some earl grey tea; and, while these are delicious just as they are, I sometimes add a generous squiggle of icing on top for extra sweetness.

Earl grey cardamom buns

Prep 30 min
Steep 15 min+
Prove 2 hr+
Cook 40 min
Makes 9

For the dough
150ml milk
4 earl grey teabags
300g strong white bread flour
1 tsp fast-action dried yeast
25g caster sugar
½ tsp fine sea salt
1 egg
, beaten
25g unsalted butter, softened

For the filling
1½ tsp ground cardamom (freshly ground, for best results)
90g caster sugar
85g unsalted butter
, softened

For the syrup
60g caster sugar

1 earl grey tea bag

To make the dough, put the milk and tea bags in a small saucepan and heat gently until steaming. Take off the heat, cover and leave to steep for 15-20 minutes.

Put the flour, yeast, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre, pour in the infused milk and the beaten egg, and knead with a stand mixer for six to eight minutes, until smooth and tacky. (If kneading by hand, this will take 10-15 minutes.)

Rest the dough in the bowl, uncovered, for five minutes, then add the butter and knead for three to four minutes, until you have a smooth, glossy dough. Put this in a lightly greased bowl, cover and leave to rise in a warm place for at least an hour and a half, or until nearly doubled in size.

Meanwhile, make the filling. Mix the cardamom and sugar in a bowl, then add the butter and mix thoroughly to combine.

Heat the oven to 200C (180C fan)/390F/gas 6, and line the base and sides of a 20cm square tin with baking paper.

Once the dough has risen, turn it out on to a lightly floured surface and roll it into a large rectangle about 3-4mm thick. Spread the filling evenly across the surface, leaving a ½cm gap all around the edge. Starting from one of the long sides, tightly roll up the dough, then slice into nine rolls.

Arrange the rolls cut side up in the lined tin, with a bit of space in between, then cover the pan loosely with a dish towel and leave to prove for 25-30 minutes, until they look puffy and have increased in size so they start to touch. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a deep brown colour.

Meanwhile, make the syrup. Put the sugar and tea bag in a small saucepan with 60ml water, bring to a boil and simmer for a minute.

Once the buns are baked, take them out of the oven, leave to cool for a few minutes, then brush generously all over with the syrup, and serve.

If you want to top with icing, mix three tablespoons of icing sugar with a half tablespoon of water, to get a thick consistency (add a little more water if it’s too thick), then pipe or drizzle over the cooled buns.

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