Sweet bun time

As training restaurant week looms, I’m excited. It will be invigorating to be in the kitchen with the added pressure of paying customers. My group is on desserts, so I’m hoping that the punters have a sweet tooth. If you’re in Wellington and looking for an affordable meal – we’re on lunches Tuesday-Thursday this week and our sister class is on dinner.

Speaking of things sweet, last week was baking week – perfect for me, as it meant I had loads of food for my turn at hosting book club.

Today’s post will focus on one of my favourites from the week of baking – a sweet dough. I’ll also post recipes for Chelsea buns and jam doughnuts, but the dough can be used for pretty much any sweet bun recipe.

The dough recipe comes from The New Zealand Chef, with slight adaptation as I feel their recipe is a little wet. I also use active dry yeast at home rather than fresh yeast.


What you’ll need

10g active dry yeast (or 25g fresh yeast)

250ml lukewarm milk

2 Tbsp sugar

470g high grade flour

5g salt

50g soft butter, chopped into cubes

1 egg (not a huge egg)

How to make a basic sweet bun dough

Mix the yeast with half of the milk and one tablespoon of sugar.


In a large mixing bowl, sieve together the flour and salt. Make a well in the middle. Pour the yeast mix into the well and lightly sprinkle some of the flour from the sides on top of the yeast mixture.


Cover with a tea towel and set aside until the yeast activates (around 10 minutes).

Lightly whisk the egg, remaining sugar and milk. Add this to the yeast mixture.


Bring the mixture together and knead for about ten minutes until soft and smooth. I did this my Kenwood so it took a shorter time. If you do by hand, do note that this is a stickier than usual mixture (not unlike brioche), do not be tempted to add lots of extra flour to the bench. When the mixture is smooth, knead in the butter a few cubes at a time.


Spray the bowl with oil and put the kneaded dough back in to prove.


Cover with cling film and a tea towel and set aside somewhere warm until doubled in size. Depending on climate, it usually takes 45-60 minutes.

Lightly knock the dough back to expel the air. Then, use the dough as required.

Chelsea buns recipe here.

Jam doughnuts recipe here.

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