Who better to give us a quick lesson in making cinnamon buns than the secretary of state for environment, food and rural affairs, MP for South West Norfolk and self-confessed baking aficionado, Liz Truss?
“Cinnamon buns are my favourite thing to bake. This is something I’d usually make at the weekend as a breakfast dish. I bake mostly at the weekend and sometimes in the evenings – I find it therapeutic after a long day. You can make the buns the day before and then heat them up the next morning for a really nice breakfast. I keep saying I’ll bring them to the office but they always get eaten!
"I make croissants as well – they’re fun but take three days – plus quite a lot of bread. And pizza – everything doughy! I love the alchemy of bread, the way it rises. Unsurprisingly, I’m a big fan of The Great British Bake Off. I loved Tamal from the last series, he had a good sense of humour. I’d definitely be up for an MP Bake Off. Samantha Cameron and Ed Balls are actually going on The Great Sport Relief Bake Off – I’m really jealous.”
Liz Truss' cinnamon buns
Preparation time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Ingredients (makes 12 buns)
- 275ml lukewarm water
- 5g active dried yeast
- 4 tbsps granulated sugar
- 600g strong white bread flour, sifted, plus more for rolling
- ¼ tsp salt
- 175ml milk, warmed very slightly in a pan to ‘hand hot’
- 75g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 125g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 250g dark brown sugar
- 1½ tsps ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- Pinch of cloves
For the glaze:
- 2 tbsps apricot jam mixed with 3 tbsps water
Step 1: Warm the milk gently in a small pan – don’t let the milk get too hot or it will scorch the yeast. Measure the water into a jug then stir in the yeast and 1 tbsp of the sugar and set aside.
Step 2: Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4 and line a tray with baking paper. In a large bowl mix together the flour, salt and 3 tbsps sugar using your hands or a spoon.
Step 3: Add the 75g butter, milk and yeast mix and stir to form a sticky dough. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface – I have a big silicone baking mat I use.
Step 4: With well-floured hands, knead for about 5 minutes until smooth and elastic – the dough should spring back when touched. Allow to rest for 10 minutes.
Step 5: Roll the dough out to a 63 x 38cm rectangle. Spread the 125g butter evenly over the dough, leaving a 2.5cm gap along the bottom (long) edge.
Step 6: In a bowl, mix the sugar and spices and spread over the butter. I use less sugar than the recipe says, as it can overflow. This is a slightly more healthy version!
Step 7: Starting from the top of the rectangle, roll up the dough towards the bottom edge. To make sure the dough doesn’t stick, keep the surface well-floured.
Step 8: Brush the bottom edge with water to seal the dough then cut the roll into 5cm lengths. Place on the baking tray and leave to rise for 40 minutes in a warm area.
Step 9: Bake the buns in the oven for 18-20 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the oven and brush the apricot jam glaze over the hot buns.
My 2016 pledge to women
“It will be a great year for start-ups, especially the growing band of women running their own businesses. I am passionate about helping female entrepreneurs with measures like more childcare. Food and drink is a fast-growing industry and I want to help more women get into senior roles in food and farming.”
Photography: Nato Welton
Hair and make-up: Rose Angus at S Management
With thanks to: JJ Locations
Apron, £32, Le Creuset (selfridges.com)