Prep time 60 mins + 60 mins proofing
For the Dough
400g plain flour plus extra for dusting
140ml full fat milk
1 whole egg and 2 egg yolks
Zest of 1 lemon
For the Filling
150g strawberry jam
40g butter melted
In a small saucepan, combine milk, butter, sugar and lemon zest. Place on a low heat and warm up to a simmer, mixing from time to time until the sugar is dissolved, and the butter has melted. Set aside to cool down to lukewarm.
Place flour, salt and yeast (making sure the salt and yeast do not come into contact) in a large mixing bowl or in a mixer bowl fitted with a dough hook. In a separate bowl lightly beat the egg and the yolks. Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour in the egg and milk mixture.
Knead the dough in the mixer or use a wooden spoon if doing it by hand. Bring the dough together; it should form a rather soft dough. Knead for 5-10 minutes. Work through the initial wet stage until the dough forms a soft, smooth skin but is not sticky.
Place in a lightly floured bowl. Cover with a damp tea towel and allow to rest for 1 hour or until doubled in size in a warm place.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan. Melt the remaining butter and set aside. Lightly brush 2 23cm round spring form baking tins.
Once the dough has risen enough, knock it back down and knead for a couple of minutes until you achieve a nice smooth ball. Sprinkle your worksurface with a little flour, tip the dough onto your bench and roll out to a rough square 30cm x 30cm about ½ a centimetre in thickness. Trim the edges and cut into 36 smaller squares (5cm each)
Place a small teaspoon of jam in the centre of each square. Pinch the sides of each square over the jam so that it is well sealed inside the dough and roll to form little buns. Brush each bun with some melted butter and starting from the outside of the tin, place the buns seam side down working in a circle with the buns barely toughing each other. Dribble any remaining melted butter on top. Cover the tins with a cloth and set aside for 15mins in a warm place so the buns proof a little more.
Uncover the tins, transfer to the hot oven and cook for 30 minutes or until the buns look well risen and have a lovely golden brown colour. Once cooked remove from the oven, allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, after which they can be carefully removed from the tin and placed on a cooling rack to cool further.
Transfer to a serving plate and serve warm. Once cooked they will keep for up to 2 days in an airtight container.
Cook’s notes & tips
For this recipe I suggest that you make the dough in a stand-up mixer fitted with a dough hook as it is quite wet and sticky in the initial stages, however you can still achieve good results making it by hand. It might just need a bit more patience.
These buns can be made ahead of time and warmed up just before serving. To warm them up either place loosely covered in the oven or heat up in the microwave for a few seconds. They can also be frozen raw. Once placed in the tin, transfer to the freezer, leaving out the final proofing stage. To cook from frozen, defrost the buns and bring up to room temperature and bake as above.
Feel free to change the filling to suit your taste buds; Chocolate and fresh fruit can both work well but make sure the consistency is rather thick as otherwise it will be difficult to enclose it in the buns.