March 2014

March 2014

Sunday, October 6, 2013

The mysterious Marlborough bun.

Marlborough bun
When we moved to Higham Ferrers in 2010 it was more luck than judgement that we found it had a huge Waitrose store not more than ½ a mile away. Since then, needless to say, we have visited on many an occasion and have taken to partaking of a free coffee (a Waitrose cardholder scheme) and sometimes – when we are feeling the need – accompanying it with a rather tasty Marlborough bun. 

Kneading fruits into sweet dough
Sweet bun dough, enriched with good things like milk, butter, fruit and sugar, has for centuries been made at celebratory times but buns, as a whole, I believe are diminishing in favour and more refined treats like cupcakes and muffins appear now to be more popular. What a pity – I think there should be a Great British Bun Revival

I have always thought that traditional English buns - like the Chelsea, Bath, or Hot cross - are second to none and now, thanks to Waitrose, the ‘Marlborough’ has joined their ranks  but can I find it elsewhere or, better still, can I make it myself?

Second rise before baking
Now, where to find a recipe? I have scoured the internet and, although the Marlborough bun does get a mention now and again, I can’t for the life of me find too much on the subject. Even books by baking high priests Dan Lepard and Paul Hollywood also drew a blank and so a little experimentation was called for and I have started with a recipe found on the BBC food website for ‘Dried fruit and almond buns’. 

Hot buns
The buns turned out to be just about acceptable but were nothing like the mysterious Marlborough and so I must now tinker with the recipe, visit Waitrose when the need arises, and my research will undoubtedly continue.  Watch this space!


  1. I have just discovered these buns at Waitrose today and am looking for a recipe - did you ever find one or perfect the recipe above?

  2. The best Marlborough buns are indeed from Waitrose and Marks & Spencer also bake a version. Sadly, despite numerous efforts, I have yet to perfect a similar 'crumb' but as a definitive Marlborough bun recipe appears to be somewhat of an enigma, who know what it really should be like? If you find out, do tell!

  3. It's a secret that only Mrs Teresa May Knows Good luck

  4. I started with a Selkirk Bannock recipe, added a bit more sugar, orange and lemon peel, black & golden raisins, dried cranberries (here in Mexico mo mixed fruit or currants), flaked almonds and a tiny bit of vanilla extract. Pretty close!