Paul Hollywood’s Iced Lemon Whitby Buns #100bakeschallenge no 78.

I don’t know about you, but as soon as I see a recipe has yeast in it, I have this feeling of absolute dread! I’ve never got the results I want from making something involving yeast. Or I can’t handle the dough properly as my hands are always far too hot and sticky- I blame the menopause!

Whitby Lemon Buns. These were absolutely delicious.

I usually avoid making anything with yeast in it or I get in a right state and it ends up in the bin. But looking through my #100bakeschallengeposter, I realised I was going to have to go out of my comfort zone and make a few things I didn’t like the thought of making.

I have had a KitchenAid mixer for several years now. When I first got it, it came with three attachments: the beater paddle, a wire balloon whisk and a dough hook. I had rarely used the dough hook but I know my daughter has used it when she made her gorgeous cinnamon buns and for her breadmaking. When I tried to find it a while ago to make Hot Cross Buns it had vanished off the face of the earth. All I can put it down to is that Mr S might have accidentally taken it along with some other broken electrical items to the tip! I had put an old mixer, a broken smoothie blender and a stick blender in a giant carrier bag to go to the tip and maybe the hook ended up in there! Who knows? I ordered another one after my messy attempt at making Focaccia and waited until I had a morning at home to myself.

Last Saturday morning was the first weekend of February half term for me and in between putting on washing and cleaning, I decided to have a go at some Iced Buns. If there’s any yeast/ bread baking recipes I want to test out, I always look to one of my Paul Hollywood books first. I looked through the British Baking Book (which is actually signed by the man himself when I saw him at the Good Food Show in Harrogate about 10 years ago!) and found the perfect recipe to try: Whitby Lemon Buns. Living in North Yorkshire myself, Whitby is one of my favourite places to visit, especially when Mr S and I go on the steam train from Pickering. We didn’t get to go at all in 2022 as Mr S hates going to busy places during the school holidays or on weekends. That’s very difficult seeing as he’s married to someone who works in a school!

I was so excited to finally get my replacement dough hook.

Paul Hollywood’s Whitby Lemon Buns recipe is based on the famous Lemon Buns by the traditional Whitby based bakers Bothams Of Whitby. If you ever get to try their ginger biscuits or their Yorkshire Brack, please do! They are absolutely heavenly. I wasn’t sure if I have ever tried one of their Lemon Buns, though. Paul Hollywood has changed the ingredients slightly and instead of sultanas, he had added chopped mixed peel to the dough in his version. I was pleased about this as at the time I had about 5 lemons which needed using up and some leftover mixed peel from Christmas. According to local tradition which I did not know: the locals split the buns in half horizontally and turn the iced top over so that it becomes a sandwich!

My copy of Paul Hollywood’s British Baking. I love this book and took it to be signed at the Good Food Show. He even remarked about how many things were bookmarked in it!

I got all my ingredients ready on that busy Saturday morning and remembered I should be putting on the next load of washing. Nothing is straightforward. I have to constantly multitask but that’s life!

For once I had the ingredients laid out on the worktop.

I put flour and softened butter into the KitchenAid bowl, followed by caster sugar, salt and yeast. Paul Hollywood advises to put the yeast on one side of the bowl away from the other ingredients. I also added milk and water slowly to bring it to a dough using the dough hook. I left the dough hook doing its kneading for the same time as I would have been kneading for. But having said that, I didn’t check how long I was doing it for. This is what happens when you are constantly distracted in a busy family home. All I know was that the dough had to be smooth and not sticky.

Ready for its first prove.

When the dough was ready to prove, I greased a glass bowl with some oil and put the dough into it. This was then covered in cling film. I am not one of these who has a fancy proving drawer in the kitchen like they do on Bake Off. My proving place is in my laundry room on top of or near my tumble dryer as it gets warm in there.

The dough had to be left for well over an hour or until it had doubled in size. I was glad to say that it had after that and I was really pleased.

An hour later!

One thing I did wonder about was that both the grated lemon zest and the peel had to be worked in after the first proving. It was quite a challenge to knead all that lemon peel into the dough so it was evenly distributed. But it did look great.

Once I had done this, I then formed the dough into equal size balls. I noticed the recipe said it made ten buns but I didn’t concentrate and made eight! Oh well, that meant they would be bigger but I would have to adapt the cooking time slightly.

Those pieces of peel were tricky to knead in.

The eight buns were then placed next to one another on one baking tray for a second proving. After another hour they had risen again and joined together.

The buns baked in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes. I did the hollow test trick after 17 minutes but they weren’t quite ready. They went back in the oven for another 3 minutes and that did the trick.

While the buns were cooling down on a wire rack, I made up a lemon icing. This was simply a thick glace icing comprising of icing sugar and lemon juice. To decorate the buns I turned them upside down and dipped them in the bowl of icing.

Messy but delicious.

By this time it was the afternoon and I had to go out shopping to our local supermarket. We had run out of several things which I’d forgotten to put on our online weekly shop I’d done earlier on in the week. I can’t believe how disorganised and on another planet I’ve been over the last couple of weeks. We were down to the last bin liner and I also needed more dog food (Sainsbury’s had substituted cat food on the online order! Since when has a dog been a cat?) Although it was a quick trip up to the supermarket, I needed a sit down with a cup of tea and one of my lemon buns this afternoon. I had not even eaten lunch.

The lemon buns were heavenly. Mr S had been involved in organising a local rally with his motor club that weekend so he was very grateful for a bun with a cup of tea to put him on until I got the dinner ready when he got in.

I was so proud of making these.
I couldn’t wait to eat one!

Although buns like these are always meant to be eaten fresh, they actually did last a couple of days in a tin. Mr S took some with him on the rally to share and also my daughter and I have been eating them for breakfast.

Have you ever tried Whitby Lemon Buns? I know I will definitely try one next time I see any. Or have you tried any other Botham’s products?

Happy Baking!

Love Sam xx

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