Blackberry Buns with a Sweet Milk Glaze

Buns and Breads

Hi Joe

I’m sat in a cafe right now and they love Mamma Mia! They’ve been playing the film soundtrack for 3 hours.

It’s an unassuming cafe; the tables are brown, the walls are grey, and they sell the same caramel crunch slices you get in every Costa Coffee between Glasgow and Oxford, and propbably beyond. I love it.

Blackberry Buns!! I’ve been trying to find a way of getting fresh fruit into cinnamon roll form without them baking into soggy fruit bum rolls for quite a while now – and i’ve cracked it. They are pillowy soft with a slight kick of sharpness from the blackberries, mellowed the second it hits the tounge by the sweet milk glaze.

These buns come with thanks to the lovely Rosa, baker and owner of too many forks, who agreed to test this recipe for me last week. Thank you Rosa!

Note on Dough For this recipe, I use the same dough as in my cinnamon rolls. It can be made on the day or the night before you want to bake these buns. If you choose the night before, allow the dough to have the first prove in the fridge overnight. The next morning you can fill, shape, prove then bake. This dough tends to rise quite fast though so you can easily do it all in one day. I’ve given you instructions as if making this dough by hand but if you’d prefer to use an electric mixer allow a dough hook to do the kneading for you – I’ve done it both ways and I can’t tell a difference.

Note on Filling – The filling needs to be cooled completely before using. It can be made a few days in advance.

Ingredients

For the Blackberry Filling

  • 60g sugar
  • 150g fresh blackberries
  • Squeeze of lemon
  • 1 tbs water
  • 10g cornflour

For the Dough

  • 250g strong white bread flour
  • 25g caster sugar
  • 7g active dry yeast
  • 1tsp salt
  • 20g unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 medium egg
  • 80ml milk
  • 60ml water

For the Sweet Milk Glaze

  • 70g icing sugar
  • 30g cream cheese
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tsp milk

Method

Making the blackberry filling. Add the sugar, blackberries, and lemon juice to a small heavy bottom saucepan. Mixing occasionally, simmer on a medium heat for 5/6 mins until the fruit has broken down and the mixture has reduced.  

Whilst the fruit cooks, combine the water and corn flour to form a loose paste. When the fruit has had 5/6 mins, lower the heat, and add the corn flour paste. Whisk briskly. Keep whisking the mixture for about 1 minute, until it has thickened. Remove from the heat and pour into a clean bowl. Allow to cool completely before using.  

To make the dough. In a large bowl add all ingredients for the dough apart from the 60ml of water. Mix everything together with one hand, or a metal spoon, squeezing the dough to incorporate the milk. Add the water and give it another mix and squeeze to form a shaggy mass. 

Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface. It is a sticky dough and will still want to stick to the work surface a little even once it has had enough kneading – don’t be tempted to keep on adding flour to your worksurface. Knead for about 10mins until smooth, elastic, and tacky. If using a mixer, stop when the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl and forms a ball around the dough hook.

Put the dough into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with cling film. Allow to rise until doubled in size, about an hour. If making this the day before, allow to rise in a warm place for 15mins before transferring to the fridge for the night.  

The last step is to fill, shape, prove and bake the buns. Grease and line a small rectangle baking dish, I use a 25cm X 18cm one. Set aside.  

Tip the risen dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Press into a rectangle shape with the long edge closest to you. Roll the dough out to roughly 9 X 13inch. It can be a little wider, for example 10 X 13inch, if you want a swirlyer swirl. You don’t have to worry too much about the exact measurements of the rectangle, so long as it is a rectangle shape and about half an inch thick, you’ll be grand. As you roll, gently pull the corners of the dough to keep as best a rectangle shape as you can, it will make the rolling and cutting easier.

With the 13inch side closest to you, spread the blackberry filling evenly over the dough, going right to the edges.  

Roll up the dough tightly so you end with a sausage of dough 13inches long, seam side down on your work surface. Use a sharp knife to cut the dough into 2inch pieces. You should get 6. If you are very good at maths you will see I’ve given you an extra inch to play with in case something goes wrong, you are welcome! Put these buns, swirl side up, evenly spaced in the lined baking dish.  

Cover with a tea towel or cling film and allow to prove until doubled in size. The rising time will depend on the temperature of your home, usually they need about an hour and a half. You can tell they are ready for the oven like this: very lightly press a fingertip into the dough, your fingerprint should fade away as the dough puffs itself back, fixing the dent you made and returning to its original position. How poetic.

While the buns prove, pre heat the oven to 180 / 160 fan.  

Bake the buns for 25 – 30 mins until golden brown on top.  

Finish with the icing. Mix the icing sugar, cream cheese, vanilla, and salt. Stir in a tsp of milk. If you want a looser icing add in the other tsp. Let the buns sit out of the oven for 10mins before pouring over the icing. It’s best to let these cool for a futher 10/15 mins to let the structure set before eating…hey look, this bun needs the respect it deserves.

Have a good bun boiii oii ! Caitlin x