Along with the ‘Doggy Hot Dog’ rolls, these buns came out of an afternoon experimenting with dough. They are fun to make and will surely delight your younger customers, especially when filled with jam and whipped cream or perhaps some whipped cream blended with Nutella. Am still working on pussy cat and rabbit buns. Watch this space!
The recipe quantity will make 32 buns each weighing 60 grams. The ears and mouth parts are made from a separate biscuit dough. Halve the recipe for 16 buns. The wholt things is baked in two stages.
- 1100g strong flour
- 60g fresh yeast, or, 3 x 7g packets of fast-action dried yeast
- 90g caster sugar
- 1 tsp fine salt
- 215g butter
- 3 large eggs – lightly whisked and mixed into the water and honey mixture
- 2 tbls runny honey mixed into the lukewarm water…
- 400 – 420ml of lukewarm water
- 1 large egg, whisked for glazing
- Vegetable oil to grease the bowl
- Some currents for eyes and nose
Dissolve the fresh yeast if using in 200ml of the lukewarm water. Sieve the flour, sugar and salt into a large bowl, and add the dried yeast if using that. Rub in the butter. Add the whisked eggs, the honeyed water (and the yeast mixture) and enough additional water to make a fairly soft dough. Cover and leave to rest for 10 minutes. Turn out onto a floured surface. Knead well, about 5-8 minutes, until the dough becomes firm and springy. Put into an oiled bowl, cover with Clingfilm and leave to rise until it doubles in size – up to 1 hour. Turn out onto surface and knead for 2 minutes. Leave to rest for 5 minutes. While proving, line 2 or 3 baking trays with non-stick parchment, or grease with some butter.
Cut off pieces of dough weighing 60g each. Knead lightly to make a round ball. Flatten out to form a round disk of 6cm/2 ½” and place onto prepared tray. Leave enough space to add ears later – say 8 bun disks per tray with a 5cm/2” space between each one.
Glaze with egg wash. Using a small knife make a small incision to make room for eye sockets just above centre line of disk. (There should be more ‘headroom’ above the eyes than usual – see photo). Press a current into each socket. Glaze again. Allow to prove for 20-30 minutes. Pre-heat oven to 190C/Gas5/375F.
Bake for 12-15 minutes. When nearly baked, remove from oven and let cool for 1 minute. (Recipe and method follows for biscuit dough). Have the ears and mouth parts ready prepared. Brush all round, the outer rim of each ear with egg wash and attach to head – leave the centre unbrushed for contrast. Brush mouth part disk with egg-wash on back only and place just under eyes. Press a current into biscuit dough circle above crescent incisions. Reduce oven to 180C/Gas4/350F and return dressed bun to oven and bake for 7-9 minutes to just lightly browned. Do the same with other tray, and return to oven. (It is OK to allow the buns to cool for 1 minute and to open the door as the buns are set and will not shrink. They will finish baking with the biscuit ears and mouth). See photos to help with the method.
Biscuit Dough Ingredients
- 175g/6ozs plain flour
- 1/4tsp fine salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 75g/3oz butter
- 50g/2oz caster sugar
- 3tbls golden syrup
- 1 tsp milk
In a medium-sized bowl put flour, caster sugar, salt, and baking powder, and mix together with a small whisk. Cut the butter into small pieces and rub into the flour mixture until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the golden syrup and milk and mix with a wooden spoon just to bring it together. Continue to knead the mix together with your hand while still in the bowl until it forms a ball. Turn out onto lightly floured surface. Knead for 2 minutes max to form a smooth dough. Cover and leave to rest for 15 minutes.
Divide dough in half. Roll out one half to form a rough circle to about £1 coin thickness. Cut out circles with a plain cutter (3.5cm/1 ¼” diameter). Using a smaller cutter mark out 2 crescents to run from ‘nose’ centre to edge of circle – see photo.
To make the ears, form a log with the other half of the biscuit dough to 3cm/1” diameter. Using a sharp, small knife, cut off 1cm/ ¼ “pieces. Press lightly to flatten a little. You now have everything ready for when the buns come out of the oven and follow the instructions above.
When baked, remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 30 minutes. Transfer carefully to a cooling rack with a fish slice to avoid breaking off the ears. Once completely cold, the ears will firm up and remain firmly attached.
The sweet bun can be cut in half – but leave the ears attached to the lower half – and filled with jam and/or cream. Or Nutella, but beat it with a whisk or wooden spoon to make it more easily spreadable. You can also, add some whipped cream to the Nutella to make a lighter cream filling. Great recipe for making with children.