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Sourdough buns with jam

Fri, 9 November, 2018


sourdough jam buns

Impossibly sticky, and that’s before the icing. The jam puddle at the bottom of the tin. Pull apart sweet buns are a nightmare to eat but such bliss.

These have leached a bit more than I’d calculate beforehand, all due to me being an idiot who shaped bottomless buns. They work very well if your filling is cinnamon sugar, raisins and nuts chopped fine, cream cheese, dried apricot paste (all of it delicious) – but not jam.

I know – you CAN just shape the dough into little pancakes, spoon the jam in the middle and seal the bun or rather hope to seal it well. But where’s the fun in that? Jammy half-burnt puddles on the baking tray are the cook’s premium, scraped off the warm tray once the buns have left it. Finger licking is, well, finger licking good and a sterile sweet bun must be incredibly boring.

jammy chelsea buns

I have made a zillion assorted buns in my baking career; apricot, cherry, honey, raisin, marzipan, blueberry and all very lovely but invariably messy to make, clean up and eat. I guess that’s just the beauty of them.

For the sourdoughphobes: replace the sourdough starter with 50g flour and 50g milk plus 15g fresh or 2 tsp instant yeast in the ferment ingredients. BTW I wonder why the word hasn’t caught on – yet?

sourdough buns with jam

Servings: 9 bunsTime: 4 hours


  • For the ferment:
  • 10g sugar
  • 100g sourdough starter refreshed with strong white flour, at 100% hydration
  • 140g warm milk
  • For the main dough:
  • 300g strong bread flour
  • 3g (1 tsp) cinnamon
  • 20g sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2g salt
  • 50g butter
  • ½ jar plum jam
  • For the icing:
  • 80g icing sugar
  • 30g butter
  • juice from ½ lemon


1. Mix the milk, sugar and the starter in a large bowl and leave for 10 minutes. Add the flour, cinnamon, sugar, egg, salt and butter and knead or mix in a standing mixer until the dough is smooth and elastic and clears the sides of the bowl. Cover and leave to prove in a warm place for 2 hours.

2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Stretch it gently to a 45cm square and dot with the jam. Spread it with a spoon or a palette knife, taking care not to tear the dough. Roll it up tightly into a long sausage and press the seam to seal.

rolling out dough

3. Prepare a square cake tin about 20 x 20cm or similar, and line it with parchment.

4. Cut the roll into 9 segments with a sharp knife or a dough scraper. Arrange the buns in the tin; you can try to pinch the bottom to seal, to stop jam from leaking but the messy, jam all over appearance is part of the appeal of the buns. Cover the tin loosely with cling film and leave in a warm place for about an hour.

how to make chelsea buns

5. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas 6. When the buns have puffed up and are snug against each other, transfer the tin into the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Cool the buns in the tin.

proving and baking buns

6. To make the icing, bring the butter to the boil in a small saucepan, stir into a bowl with icing sugar and add lemon juice until it’s runny enough to drizzle over the buns.

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Hello! I'm Anna Gaze, the Cuisine Fiend. Welcome to my recipe collection.

I have lots of recipes for you to choose from: healthy or indulgent, easy or more challenging, quick or involved - but always tasty.


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