Belgian Buns | Guest Recipes | Nigella's Recipes (2024)

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Introduction

I was fortunate to grow up in the seventies and eighties when the high-street baker was still very much a thing, so for me these classic Belgian buns with the cherry on top are symbolic of this era of baking. We adapted the lemon curd to be more citrussy, which balances the sweetness of the icing and the cherry. This recipe is more on the naughty side of things, but deeply satisfying.

I was fortunate to grow up in the seventies and eighties when the high-street baker was still very much a thing, so for me these classic Belgian buns with the cherry on top are symbolic of this era of baking. We adapted the lemon curd to be more citrussy, which balances the sweetness of the icing and the cherry. This recipe is more on the naughty side of things, but deeply satisfying.

As featured in

  • Belgian Buns | Guest Recipes | Nigella's Recipes (1)
    Bread Ahead: The Expert Home Baker
Belgian Buns | Guest Recipes | Nigella's Recipes (2)

Ingredients

Makes: 12

MetricCups

  • 500 grams (1 lb 2 oz) strong white bread flour (plus extra for dusting)
  • 3 grams (½ teaspoon) fine sea salt
  • 20 grams (¾ oz) caster sugar
  • 280 grams full fat milk
  • 10 grams fresh yeast (or 5 g (1½ teaspoons) dried yeast)
  • zest of 1 lemons
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 80 grams unsalted butter (softened)

FOR THE FILLING

  • 100 grams (3½ oz) lemon curd
  • 120 grams (4 oz) raisins or sultanas

FOR THE TOPPING

  • 250 grams (9 oz) icing sugar
  • 1 - 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 12 glace cherries
  • 3½ cups (1 lb 2 oz) strong white bread flour (plus extra for dusting)
  • 3 grams (½ teaspoon) fine sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons (¾ oz) superfine sugar
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons fresh yeast (or 5 g (1½ teaspoons) dried yeast)
  • zest of 1 lemons
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3 ounces unsalted butter (softened)

FOR THE TOPPING

  • 2 cups (9 oz) confectioners' sugar
  • 1 - 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 12 candied cherries

Method

Belgian Buns is a guest recipe by Matthew Jones so we are not able to answer questions regarding this recipe

Stage 1:

  1. Add the flour, salt and sugar to a large mixing bowl and whisk together. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, yeast, lemon zest and egg yolk.
  2. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and bring together, ideally with a dough scraper, to form a rough, sticky dough. Turn it out onto the work surface and knead for about 3 minutes until it feels a little more elastic. It won’t look like a smooth dough yet.
  3. Add the butter to the dough a third at a time. Place the cubes of the butter over the surface of the dough, then knead it in, ensuring it is fully incorporated before adding the next quantity. Continue to knead the dough for 3–5 minutes, using the spatula or scraper to bring it together as before. You will know the dough is ready when it stops sticking to your hand and the work surface. With the dough now smooth, elastic and glossy, place it in a clean mixing bowl, cover with a plate or shower cap, and rest in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, but ideally overnight.

Stage 2:

  1. Place the chilled dough on a lightly floured work surface and use a rolling pin to roll it out to a rectangle, about 50 x 40 cm (20 x 16 in). Spread the lemon curd evenly over the surface of the dough, leaving a small strip clear along one of the long edges. Sprinkle over the sultanas, pressing them gently into the curd. Brush the clear strip with a little water and roll up the dough lengthways from the opposite side, gently pressing the dampened edge into the dough to seal it. Rest it seam-side down for a moment.
  2. Line a baking sheet with baking paper. Cut the roll into 12 pieces, each about 4-cm (1½-in) thick. Carefully transfer them to the baking sheet and gently press them down a little. Alternatively, you can place them in a 12-hole silicone or metal muffin tray (pan). Cover with a dish towel and leave to prove in a warm place for about 1 hour, until almost doubled in size and touching each other.
  3. Preheat the oven to 180°C fan (400°F/gas 6).
  4. Bake the buns for 15 minutes, then turn the baking sheet around in the oven and bake for a further 10 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven and slide the baking paper with the buns on top off the baking sheet and onto a wire rack to cool.
  5. Meanwhile, prepare the topping. Sieve the icing sugar into a mixing bowl. Add the lemon juice, 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking to combine (add more lemon juice, if needed – the icing should be a fairly thick consistency).
  6. Once the buns are cool, generously pour over the icing over each one and top with a glacé cherry.

Stage 1:

  1. Add the flour, salt and sugar to a large mixing bowl and whisk together. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, yeast, lemon zest and egg yolk.
  2. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and bring together, ideally with a dough scraper, to form a rough, sticky dough. Turn it out onto the work surface and knead for about 3 minutes until it feels a little more elastic. It won’t look like a smooth dough yet.
  3. Add the butter to the dough a third at a time. Place the cubes of the butter over the surface of the dough, then knead it in, ensuring it is fully incorporated before adding the next quantity. Continue to knead the dough for 3–5 minutes, using the spatula or scraper to bring it together as before. You will know the dough is ready when it stops sticking to your hand and the work surface. With the dough now smooth, elastic and glossy, place it in a clean mixing bowl, cover with a plate or shower cap, and rest in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, but ideally overnight.

Stage 2:

  1. Place the chilled dough on a lightly floured work surface and use a rolling pin to roll it out to a rectangle, about 50 x 40 cm (20 x 16 in). Spread the lemon curd evenly over the surface of the dough, leaving a small strip clear along one of the long edges. Sprinkle over the sultanas, pressing them gently into the curd. Brush the clear strip with a little water and roll up the dough lengthways from the opposite side, gently pressing the dampened edge into the dough to seal it. Rest it seam-side down for a moment.
  2. Line a baking sheet with baking paper. Cut the roll into 12 pieces, each about 4-cm (1½-in) thick. Carefully transfer them to the baking sheet and gently press them down a little. Alternatively, you can place them in a 12-hole silicone or metal muffin tray (pan). Cover with a dish towel and leave to prove in a warm place for about 1 hour, until almost doubled in size and touching each other.
  3. Preheat the oven to 180°C fan (400°F/gas 6).
  4. Bake the buns for 15 minutes, then turn the baking sheet around in the oven and bake for a further 10 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven and slide the baking paper with the buns on top off the baking sheet and onto a wire rack to cool.
  5. Meanwhile, prepare the topping. Sieve the confectioners' sugar into a mixing bowl. Add the lemon juice, 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking to combine (add more lemon juice, if needed – the icing should be a fairly thick consistency).
  6. Once the buns are cool, generously pour over the icing over each one and top with a glacé cherry.

Additional Information

Stage 1:
Preparation – 20 minutesResting – 1 hour or overnight

Stage 2:
Preparation – 10 minutesProving – 1 hourBaking – 25 minutesCooling – 30 minutesFinishing – 5 minutes

Stage 1:
Preparation – 20 minutesResting – 1 hour or overnight

Stage 2:
Preparation – 10 minutesProving – 1 hourBaking – 25 minutesCooling – 30 minutesFinishing – 5 minutes

Try This Tip

Baking Ingredients At Room Temperature

Asked and Answered

Can You Substitute Fresh Yeast For Dry Yeast In A Recipe?

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