Well, I hate to remind you but with the days shortening and with a nippy start to the mornings, we are heading downhill or uphill – whichever way you believe it so - to Christmas.
This year I am going to try and get organised with one or two tasty and perfect treats to bake ahead of time and freeze - ready to pop in the oven over the festive period.
Like most of us, I so look forward to the British apple season. There is nothing like biting into a juicy, crisp and slightly sharp fruit. However, in my fruit bowl yesterday, I had two forlorn-looking Cox’s apples left and, on the spur of the moment, decided to incorporate these into a Christmas bun recipe. This is one I will definitely bake ahead for my family.
So, like me, go on - spoil those around you – make now, freeze the buns and warm through for breakfast on Christmas morning and fill the kitchen and house with the glorious and intoxicating smells of warm fruit and spices. There’s nothing better!
350g strong white bread flour
7g easy-blend dried yeast
1 large egg
200g marzipan, grated
2 eating apples – peeled, cored and cut into small pieces
1 tsp ground mixed spice
In a mixing bowl, place flour, yeast and sugar. Make a well in the centre and add the egg. Melt the butter, then make up to 175ml with warm water. Add to the bowl and bring the mixture together to form a soft dough.
Knead on lightly floured surface for 10 minutes or so until smooth and elastic. Place in a clean bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave until the dough has doubled in size.
Meanwhile, line a shallow 23cm tin with baking parchment.
Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into 10 even-sized pieces and place them with their cut sides face-up in the prepared tin. Cover loosely with clingfilm and leave to rise again for about an hour or until the buns are tightly packed in the tin.
Bake for about 30 minutes in a 200C oven – gas mark 6 – until a deep golden colour. Leave in the tin for 15minutes and then tip onto a wire rack to cool. When ready to serve, dust with icing sugar or make up a small quantity of runny icing and drizzle over.