Apple filled flower buns
To describe how to shape these buns is one of the most interesting things I’ve had to write up. I’m going to video myself doing it because it’s a lot easier to understand if you see it. I was inspired by the Raspberry Jam Filled Rose Buns on the Seasons and Suppers website. They have a great set of photos for how to shape these buns. If you don’t want to make the apple filling – you can definitely put store bought jam inside but you’ll want to make sure it’s not too watery and of course it’ll be a lot sweeter.
350g plain flour (+ extra 1/4 cup set aside in case the dough needs extra flour)
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp low fat milk powder
1 large egg
50g unsalted butter, diced into small chunks and softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 Fuji Apples, peeled and grated
2 tbsp caster sugar
Squeeze of lemon juice
1 tbsp chia seeds
Make the apple filling by placing all the ingredients (except the chia seeds) in a small saucepan and heat over low heat. Simmer till the apple softens. Add in the chia seeds and blitz together with a stick blender or a in mini food processor. Set aside to cool.
Mix the yeast and water in a food mixer bowl and let it sit for 5 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients for the buns (except the butter) and use the dough hook attachment to mix and knead the dough for 2 minutes. Add in the butter and continue kneading for 5 minutes. If the dough looks very sticky, you will need to add the extra flour (one tablespoon at a time). The dough should be soft but not too sticky.
Turn the dough out on a bench and shape into a ball. Place in a lightly oiled bowl and cover. Allow the dough to proof for one hour or till it’s doubled in size.
Turn the dough out and cut it up into 75g balls of dough. Cover the balls of dough with a clean tea towel when you’re not working with them.
Prepare a muffin tin by greasing it with butter.
Take one ball of dough and flatten it to form a circle on a lightly floured bench. To form the “petals”, use a knife and cut slits around the circumference of the circle 4 times, evenly spaced out, without cutting all the way to the middle. You need to leave enough room for the apple filling, I usually leave a 3cm area in the middle. Spoon a heaped teaspoon of apple filling into the middle remembering that the more you put in, the harder it is to shape. For the first time you do it, you might want to err on the side of less.
Once you have the filling in the middle, pick up one of the “petals” by pinching the ends of the petal with each hand using the thumb and pointy finger and pull it around to hug the filling and so that the ends of the petal touch on the other side. Press the ends together to seal it. Move on to the petal beside the first one and repeat the same pulling motion and wrap around the filling – you’ll end up covering the first “petal” and the ends of the second petal should seal as well. Repeat with the other two petals. By the last one, you’ll be stretching it out a bit more to wrap around everything. Put the bun in the muffin tin mould and repeat with all the other balls of dough.
Cover with a tea towel and proof for another 40 minutes – this will depend on weather. The warmer it is, the quicker the dough will become puffy again.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Brush the buns with egg wash and bake for 15 minutes, making sure to turn it half way. The buns are ready when they’re golden brown.
Let the buns cool on a baking rack and sieve icing sugar all over before serving.