I love baking with yeast. There's something oddly satisfying and exciting about watching a small ball of springy dough double in size into pillowy softness. Woah. Is 'pillowy' actually a word?
Not the most patient of people, I make an exception for baking with yeast. I learnt you just can't rush things. The yeast has to do its thing. It needs time. And warmth. A bit of sugar to start working. Be patient with yeast, the results are worth the wait.
While I always like to try new things, I have a few recipes that I always come back to. Totally foolproof. I already showed you a recipe for chelsea buns (this was actually the first recipe on this blog!); these raspberry buns are another staple.
The recipe comes from one of my favourite Polish food blogs: White Plate. I was mesmerised by the pictures and intrigued by the fact that mashed potatoes (yes, mashed potatoes!) were one of the ingredients. Long story short, these raspberry buns had to be tried.
The potatoes make the dough very moist and the buns are equally tasty the next day. And don't worry, you totally cannot taste potatoes in the dough!
To make about 10-12 buns you'll need:
7g (1 sachet) fast action dry yeast
250 ml milk
100 g unsalted butter
450 g plain flour
100 g caster sugar
1/2 tsp salt
100-120 g mashed potatoes, cooled down
3-4 tbsp creme fraiche
1 tsp cinammon
2-3 tbsp light brown sugar
1 egg, for glazing the dough
Start off by preparing the mashed potato - I used half of a big potato. Peel it, cut in smaller pieces and boil until soft. Drain, then put back in the pot and put on the stove on the lowest flame for less than a minute - you want all the water to evaporate. Mash the potatoes and set them aside to cool.
Gently warm the milk in a small pot. You want it warm, but not too hot.
In a small bowl, mix yeast with 1 tsp of sugar, 3-4 tbsps warm milk and 1 tbsp of flour. Set the mix aside in a warm place until it gets frothy.
While the yeast in the bowl is doing its job add butter to the pot with milk and warm through until it's melted. Set aside to cool.
Put flour, mashed potatoes, sugar, salt and melted butter with milk in a big mixing bowl. Add the yeast and mix with a wooden spoon to combine.
You can either knead the dough by hand (for about 10 minutes) or use a mixer with dough hooks (I chose the second option - laziness!). The dough should be smooth and elastic. Place it in a greased bowl, cover the top of the bowl with cling film or clean tea towel and leave for 1-1.5 hrs until it doubles in size.
Once the dough is ready, tip it out of the bowl onto a lightly floured surface and flatten to punch the air out. Roll it into a long sausage and divide into 10-12 pieces. Form little balls and place them on a baking tray covered with baking parchment. Leave some space between as the dough will be rising again.
Flatten the balls and use a shot glass (or another small glass) dipped in flour to make a dent in each ball of dough.
Mix all filling ingredients in a bowl and place about a tsp of filling in the middle of each bun. Add about 3-4 raspberries and brush the edges with a glaze made with egg and a tbsp of water.
Set the buns aside in a warm place so they can rise again and double in size.
Bake for 15-20 minutes in 200 C. The time will vary depending on the size of your buns.
They taste best slightly warm with a glass of cold milk (or a milky latte!).