Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Honey buns

Regular travellers along the Great Eastern Highway may be familiar with a certain honey stall, usually open only on the weekends.

Situated on the Perth-side of Mundaring (as you’re heading west), it’s set up at the front of a modest house and it’s certainly nothing flashy.

If you intend on stopping you need to have your wits about you and look out for the preceding “honey” sign, because if you drive past it, it’s not really a simple task to turn around and go back.

It’s been a favourite in our family for years, yet I actually have no idea if they have a brand name or even what the owners’ names are.

But it’s great local honey and comes in a range of tub sizes and varieties - Wandoo and Mallee are favourites here.

If you’re a big honey eater (not an actual bird), like my Dad – then you’ll opt for a gigantic bucket of wandoo and complain if anyone else tries to have it on their toast.

Once you’ve immersed yourself in the world of honey, that is, tasted honey from hives kept in particular parts of bush or forest for a specific flavour, it’s difficult to go back to generic, store-bought “honey”.

WA is lucky enough to have a thriving beekeeping industry producing a wide range of honeys, so there really is no excuse not to buy local.

This recipe makes use of some local liquid gold and is the perfect solution for those craving hot cross buns at any time of the year. After all, who doesn’t love warm bread smothered in butter and honey?

You could certainly add some sultanas to the mix and whatever honey you please, I opted for mallee as it has a beautiful, well-rounded flavour without being too robust.

With the recipe originally hailing from Matthew Evans’ book, Summer on Fat Pig Farm, these honey buns are versatile and can be used for sweet or savoury fixes but are best eaten fresh from the oven.

Honey Buns
550g plain flour
2 teaspoons dried yeast
1 teaspoon salt
250ml warm milk
125ml olive oil
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons honey
30g sugar
30g butter
2 tablespoons honey
1 eggwhite

Mix the flour, yeast and salt in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook, whisking to combine.
In a jug, mix the milk, oil, egg, egg yolk and honey and whisk to combine.
Start up the mixer on low and begin adding the milk mixture, contuning to mix until a smooth dough forms.
Increase the mixer speed a notch and knead the dough for about five minutes (about 15 minutes by hand).
Cover with a cloth and leave in a warm place for about an hour, or until doubled in size.
Turn out onto a floured surface and punch down, cover and rest for 10 minutes.
Divide the dough into about 24 pieces and shape each into a ball.
Place the balls onto baking trays and cover, leaving to rest in a warm place for about 30 minutes.
To make the glaze, combine the sugar, butter and honey in a small saucepan until sugar dissolves.
Allow to cool before whisking in the egg white and brushing onto the rolls.
Bake at 180C for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and for that extra sweetness, brush with extra honey while still hot.

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