Apricot and almond sticky buns

Sweet, sticky buns. The kind that makes you go back for seconds. Irresistible when warm from the oven, equally good once cooled down. Soft dough wrapped around juicy fresh apricots and mellow almonds. With crispy exteriors topped with crunchy almonds. With fluffy bottoms coated with sticky sweet caramel sauce. Finger licking good and using seasonal fruit, these are perfect to make on a rainy day.

I’ve always loved working with an enriched dough. It’s kind of a staple for me, having watched my Mum make this type of dough all the time. It’s soft and pliable, a sheer pleasure to work with. And it lends itself to so many different recipes and forms, from big sheet pan cakes, through hand made buns to intricate bundts. You’ll find several recipes with it here on my blog.

Now that June is almost on our doorstep, there is a plethora of seasonal fruits and vegetable to choose from. And that means fresh apricots how finally arrived in their sumptuous aromatic glory, blushing their faces towards us. They are one of my favourite stone fruits, a second favourite in fact after flat peaches and before scrummy mirabelle plums. And paired with almonds it’s a win win combo.

These really are lovely buns with a multitude of textures. They have everything you could ever desire from sticky buns. And most importantly they are straightforward to make and fun to assemble. If you bake them in the morning, not only will they make the house smell totally amazing but you will also have a nice little treat with an afternoon tea. You could always give them a quick blast in the oven or a microwave to warm them up. Here is the recipe.

Ingredients

For the dough:

  • 1 large egg
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 175ml of buttermilk
  • 50 grams of caster sugar
  • 85 grams of unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp of almond extract
  • 470 grams of plain flour
  • 10 grams of fast action yeast
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • oil for the bowl

For the filling:

  • 20 grams of unsalted butter, softened plus extra for greasing of the pans
  • 190 grams of soft brown sugar
  • 50 grams of ground almonds
  • 600 grams of fresh apricots, stoned and chopped into small pieces
  • 15 grams of flaked almonds, optional

Two round baking dishes with fixed bottoms

In a stand mixer combine the egg yolks, egg, buttermilk, sugar, butter and both extracts. Mix until well combined.

Add two heaped tablespoons of flour to the mixture and combine. Now add the rest of the flour, yeast and salt. Switch to dough hook and knead the dough for ten minutes or so. You want a soft pliable dough that is a little sticky. Once you achieve this consistency, transfer the dough into an oiled bowl, cover with a tea towel and place somewhere warm to rise. This should take about an hour or so.

You could of course make the dough by hand although because of its sticky consistency, it is easier to use a mixer.

Once the dough has doubled in size and is soft and pillowy, prepare a bench or a counter by scattering some flour. Place the dough on the floured surface and roll it out into a large rectangle, about 2 cm in thickness.

Brush the dough with the softened butter and sprinkle brown sugar evenly all over its surface. Repeat with the almonds. And chopped apricots. Press the filling gently into the dough before rolling. Start from the longest end tightly rolling the dough on itself until you end up with a long fat sausage.

Cut the sausage into 14 pieces, approximately 4-5 cm in thickness. Arrange the slices in two buttered dishes by placing one in the centre of each and equally spacing further six slices around it. Sprinkle both sets of buns with flaked almonds. Cover again with tea towels and allow the buns to rise for a further 30 minutes or so.

Whilst the buns are rising, preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Once the temperature has been reached and the buns have expanded a little, remove the towels and place the buns in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes or so, until buns are golden brown and with pools of bubbly caramel  around them. Remove from the oven and set aside for 5 minutes or so.At this point turn the buns out onto a shallow plate so that the caramel ends up on the top. The buns are now ready to serve. For a proper indulgence, serve simply with some vanilla ice cream. Enjoy x

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