Blackcurrant jam is truly one of the most delicious jams known to man.
The aroma in the kitchen of blackcurrants on the boil brought to mind the old nursery rhyme: “Four currant buns in a baker’s shop, warm and fat with sugar on the top… along came a man with a penny one day, bought a currant bun and took it away”.
The more the rhyme resonated through my head, the more I wanted currant buns. It just so happened that I had a sweet bread dough on the rise. It was therefore a simple thing to stir in some currants. By this stage the jam was done and well on the way to setting, so in keeping with the currant theme, I enclosed a little spoonful in the centre of each.
Oh my goodness, I’ve made these buns every day since, they are so delicious and very easy to make. If you don’t have blackcurrant jam, you could use another sort – raspberry for instance. However, try a CWA shop as they usually have supplies of the blackcurrant.
AND, just in case you have blackcurrants in your freezer, or for when they are in season next summer, after the bun recipe I’ve included the recipe for blackcurrant jam.
500g plain flour
5 teaspoons dried yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
60g butter, melted
¾ to 1 cup warm milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1¼ cups (dried) currants
1/3 to ½ cup blackcurrant jam
1/3 cup icing sugar
Line a Swiss Roll tin 25cm x 35cm with baking paper (or grease).
Mix the flour, yeast, salt and sugar in a bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour in the butter, milk and eggs to make a soft dough. Mix well with a metal spoon until well combined. Cover with a tea towel and leave in a warm place to rise until doubled (about 1 hour).
Mix in the currants and then turn the dough out onto a floured board and knead for a minute or two. Cut into 12 equal pieces. Press each piece out into a circle about 6cm diameter. Dampen around half the edge with a little water.
Place a level teaspoon of jam into the centre of the dough, then press together the damp edge to dry dough to enclose the jam, then shape into a ball and place seam side down on the tray.
Leave to rise for 20 to 25 minutes (until they have risen to at least one and a half times their original size), then bake at 180 degrees C (fan forced, 20 degrees more if not) for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown.
Remove from oven and cool for a few minutes in tin, before turning out to cool on a wire rack (or you can just leave them in the tin, they will just be a little softer on the bottom crust). Dust with icing sugar before serving.
1 litre water
Remove stalks from blackcurrants and place in a large saucepan or jam pan with the water. Bring to the boil, then cook for 10 minutes or until the currants are tender.
Add the sugar and bring back to the boil, stirring.
Boil hard until setting point is reached (about 15 minutes).
Allow to stand for 5 minutes, then pour into warm sterilised jars and seal immediately.