I’ve been fiddling around a lot lately with this recipe. The boys have (mostly) been willing testers, although one of the batches tasted ‘kinda like chocolate pizza’, which wasn’t really the result I was aiming for. What I have been aiming for is a really soft white finger roll – you know, like the ones you buy in a bakery, smothered in gooey icing. I think the best ingredient in getting these soft iced buns as light as possible is actually time – they need to rise slowly, then be shaped, then rise slowly again. The perfect rainy-day occupation, then. And there have been quite a few of those recently (although yesterday I made them while the sun was shining and the kitchen door was open – and that’s good too.)
Soft iced buns with chocolate orange drizzle
450g strong white bread flour
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp caster sugar
1 x 7g sachet dried yeast
1/2 tsp vanilla paste
4 or 5 tbsp icing sugar
1 tbsp cacao or cocoa powder
1 orange, juice and zest
So firstly, sift the flour into a large bowl, then stir in the salt, sugar, and dried yeast.
In a small saucepan, warm the milk, water, and butter over a low heat until the butter has just melted, then turn off the heat and allow to cool just to room temperature. Stir in the vanilla paste.
Pour the liquid into the dry ingredients and stir it around with a knife until it starts to come together. Leave it as sticky as you can bear as this seems to create the lightest results.
I knead mine in the machine (it’s easier as the dough is sticky), but you can also knead by hand. It needs about five to seven minutes to become soft and elastic.
Cover with clingfilm and leave somewhere warm like the airing cupboard until it’s doubled in size. Then, just knock it back with your fist and form it into a flat, sausage shape. Cut this into fingers – you should get between 10 and 12 – then place them on a floured baking tray. Cover gently then rise again until they’re really puffy and soft.
Bake for about 15-20 minutes at 180 C/gas 4, until just pale golden. Allow to cool.
Make the icing by adding the orange zest to the icing sugar and cacao, then slowly dribble in just enough juice to make the icing really thick and gloopy. Drizzle over the buns, et voila!
I’ve got a bit of a thing about chocolate orange (I’ve got some fresh orange and chocolate chip muffins coming soon), but of course you don’t have to do chocolate orange drizzle. You can do plain icing drizzle, or even plain icing AND chocolate drizzle (or frankly any other drizzle you fancy), or maybe split them and fill with cream and jam – just do give them a go. Let me know how you get on! x