At Panary I am commited to teaching the "ferment" as the best way to make enriched doughs. The "one pint ferment" is a marvellous old-fashioned British craft standard. It enables the yeast to get a flying start before it gets bogged down in that heavy and rich group of ingredients - fat, sugar, egg yolk, spice - that separate it from its food. However, not everyone wants to take the trouble to set up a ferment, and the guidelines are that you can use any high-quality fruited bun dough of your choice.

== The ferment ==

Ingredients Amount

Warmed milk 560ml

Bread flour 110g

Sugar 15g

Fresh yeast 60g or 30g dried yeast mixed in the flour

The dough

Ingredients Amount

Bread flour 1kg

Eggs (large) 2

Sugar 110g

Salt 15g

When properly formed add: Mixed spice 30-40g

Butter 140g Knead until the dough is silky and stretches with a well-formed gluten. Gently mix in: Currants/sultanas/raisins 350g

== Notes ==

1. Regarding the addition of fruits, nuts and seeds to dough, a good rule of thumb is to have the fruit at 12% of bulk, which appears generous, or 15% if you want to spoil them.

2. During dough making, stop the mixer regularly and let the dough rest. While it is passive, the water is seeping into the flour and forming the gluten. There’s no hard and fast rule for the amount of time the dough should be in the mixer - I like to mix a minute here, rest a minute or two, and mix again a minute there.

3. The machine can be too rough for mixing in the fruit, destroying both the fruit and the structure of the dough if you are not careful. So a combination of hands and machine is better, because you can minimise the machinery action on the dough.

== Method ==

1. Working with the fruited bun dough, cut off a piece weighing 2 to 2.2 kg to make 16-20 large Chelsea buns. (A)

2. Prove the fruit dough fully as you would for bun making - about 1 hour in bulk proof. If you are too busy for it, put it in the fridge.

3. While proving, beat together in a bowl:125g of butter; 1/2 tablespoon of cinnamon (freshly ground is best); 100g soft brown sugar.

4. Turn the proved dough out on to a floured surface and stroke it into a rectangle with the rolling pin, setting it out just as you would for making puff pastry. Have your rectangle at least twice as long as it is wide.

5. Spread the buttery cinnamon-sugar paste onto two-thirds of it - not too close to the edges (B) - then fold on top the uncovered third, making the pastry parcel in the English way. (C)

6. Straight away roll it out again (D) and give it a normal "half-turn" fold as you would in the puff pastry manner. (E)

7. Put it into the fridge or in a cool spot to rest, to relax it and allow more proof. A plastic covering will stop the dough skinning; a skin folded into the dough can create a seam that will become a blemish in the final product. (F)

8. After about 30-40 minutes, pin it out again, this time into a long rectangle.

9. Roll it up towards you into a long sausage, brushing warmed honey along the front edge to enable a tight seal. (G)

10. Chop the ends off and cut the long sausage evenly into 16-20 discs (H) and place on the baking tray as flat rounds.

14. Place them carefully apart so that, upon full proof, they are touching gently, yet able to be pulled apart easily when baked and cooling. (I)

15. Egg glaze and prove like normal fruit bun dough for about 30 minutes. A tip is to add a pinch of salt to the egg to make it runny.

16. Bake in an oven that is duller than bread temperature, barely 200?C, for 15 minutes. They should have a dark colour and spring back when gently poked with a finger. When it is out of the oven glaze it with warmed honey.