These things are so easy to make, you’ll want to bake up a batch every Friday (or Saturday, or Sunday, or Monday…). The higher gluten flour you can find, the better for these. If you have some or have a source, terrific. If not, some bread flour from the supermarket will still turn out excellent buns.
As you can see from the photograph, I didn’t add any raisins, despite what the recipe called for. What can I say, it was a busy day and I didn’t have time to run out. However I should emphasize that many different kinds of dried and/or candied fruit will work well in these. Currents are very English, citron is very hip, dried apricot is very, um…Louisville. Swap them in and out to your heart’s content.
Start by adding your dry ingredients to the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle.
Then whisk your liquid ingredients in a medium bowl.
Give the dry ingredients a stir to blend them, then add the liquids all at once.
Mix just long enough to moisten them…
…and switch to the dough hook. Knead several minutes until the dough comes together in a soft ball, about like this:
If it’s too wet, just add a few tablespoons of extra flour. The dough will be rather sticky and will cling to the bottom of the bowl. Turn the mixer back on and add the soft butter. Once it’s all incorporated, add the dried and/or candied fruit.
Let the dough rise for about two hours or until doubled in volume, then shape into rolls according to the directions in the post How to Shape Buns and Rolls over to the right. Cover with greased plastic wrap,
Proof the buns for another hour or so, until the balls are again almost doubled, but still spring back a bit when you poke them. Score with x’s on the top, paint with egg wash if you wish (I didn’t, since I kinda like the flat, rustic finish) and bake for 15 minutes at 350. You should have something like this:
The scores don’t always stay straight or perpendicular, but what the hey, the icing’s coming next, right?