Wednesday, November 13

Savoury Chelsea Buns - Walnut Pesto, Roasted Butternut, Gorgonzola & Chestnut Honey

I ate a savoury chelsea bun years ago, liked it, made a note of it in my journal then forgot about it. These make a cracking alternative to a sandwich as they are simply a basic bread dough rolled up 'swiss roll' style around the filling of your choice. This combo is my nod to the season. 

Chestnut honey is not common but if you see it, I highly recommend. Not as sweet as standard honey it is dark in colour with a heavy; rich; nutty; almost malty taste. It works extremely well with savoury dishes (especially cheese) where a hint of sweetness would lift the dish, but too much would be cloying. Makes 5 or 6:

Dough Ingredients:
Bread flour - 500g plus more for rolling
10g fresh yeast or half a 7g packet of dried
Pinch of salt
365g tepid water

Pesto Ingredients:
A bunch of basil
2 cloves of garlic - peeled
100g walnuts
Juice of half a small lemon
25ml to 50ml olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste

The rest:
1 small butternut, peeled, seeded and sliced into 1cm rounds
Gorgonzola - 200g
1 egg, beaten

Lightly oil, season and roast the butternut at 140c until very soft but not coloured. Set aside to cool.

Put all the pesto ingredients in a blender with the exception of the walnuts and blitz to a smooth paste. Add a little more oil if necessary to help the blades turn. Add the walnuts and pulse until roughly chopped and incorporated - set aside.

To make the dough, mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl until combined. Turn onto the work surface and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic. Flour the work surface and roll the dough out into a rough rectangle a little bit bigger than an A4 sheet of paper. Whilst we are using paper as an analogy, ensure the dough is 'portrait' in orientation. Spread the pesto thinly all over the bread dough leaving 1 inch clear on the edge furthest from you. 

Sprinkle the dough evenly with little nuggets of gorgonzola. Chop the butternut into 1cm cubes and sprinkle these over as well. Egg wash the clear edge, then begin rolling up the dough from the edge nearest you. The egg washed edge should seal up the dough as you finish rolling. Trim off the ends then cut into 5 or 6 equal sized pieces. Arrange on a roomy oiled baking tray leaving plenty of room between the buns. Cover with a tea towel and allow to double in size. Egg wash the sides and bake at 180c for 25 to 35 mins until golden. Drizzle with honey and serve warm.

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