The Chelsea Bun is a close relative of our dear friend the Cinnamon Roll whose origins date back to 18th century England.   Raisins or other dried fruits are optional in a cinnamon roll but not so in a Chelsea bun. Unlike the thick heavy cream cheese frosting on a cinnamon roll, the thin glaze on a Chelsea bun is invisible except for the shine and yields a lighter pastry. This sweet, sticky treat is flavored with spicy cinnamon and zesty lemon and finished with melting buttery sweetness.  These spicy fruit buns are a perfect pastry baking project for Easter morning and well worth the baking time!  Baking the buns will make your kitchen smell DIVINE!  **You can also use the same dough for cinnamon buns or hot cross buns!  

Orly's Gluten Free Easter Chelsea Buns

3 eggs
3 tbsp plus one tsp sugar
3 tbsp butter, melted
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon warm buttermilk
zest of 1 Lemon
1 ¾ cups Manhattan Blend
1 ¼  tsp dry yeast
½  tsp salt
 ½  tsp baking powder

½ cup packed light brown sugar
1 ½  tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp butter melted
1 cup mixed dried fruit or just raisins 

Glaze & Icing:
2 Tbsp Apricot Jam
3 Tbsp powdered sugar
Juice of 1/2 Lemon

1) Preheat oven to a temperature of 350º F.  In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, combine the warm milk and yeast and let sit for 5 minutes. Add the eggs, lemon zest and sugar and mix on low speed to combine.  Add the Blends by Orly Manhattan Blend along with the salt and baking powder and mix on medium speed until combined, for 5 minutes. Lastly, add the melted butter and mix through the dough.  Dough should feel soft, slightly stretchy and moist but not wet like a batter. Add more Manhattan Blend if necessary.

2) Turn the dough out onto a  work surface floured with Manhattan Blend and kneed into a ball.  Lightly oil a large bowl. Transfer the dough to the bowl, lightly oil the top of the dough, and cover with plastic wrap. Let sit in a warm place (80-100°F) for 30 minutes

3) Make the filling- Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Mix well and set aside.

4) Grease a round or square glass baking dish and coat the inside with parchment paper. Turn the dough out onto a heavily floured work surface. Shape the dough into a rectangle by hand, with the long side nearest you.

5) With a rolling pin, stretch the dough into a 9” by 6” rectangle. Brush the surface of the dough with melted butter, leaving 1/2-inch border along the top edge.  Generously sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar filling over the dough, then scatter over the mixed dried fruit (or raisins), leaving a 3/4-inch border along the top edge and press the filling into the dough with your hands.

6) Beginning with the long edge nearest you, roll the dough into a tight cylinder.  Slice the cylinder into 6 evenly sized buns.  Arrange buns cut side down in the baking dish.  Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm place (80-100°F) until it doubles in size, approximately 45 minutes.

7) Place the dish in the center of the oven and bake buns for 30 min or until golden brown.  Warm the apricot jam in the microwave and while the buns are still hot use a pastry brush to coat the baked buns with the jam glaze.  Then leave to cool completely.

8) While the buns are cooling, make the icing by whisking the the powdered sugar and lemon juice together until forming a smooth paste. Drizzle over the buns.  The buns, which are baked together with their sides touching each other, should be torn apart before serving. They can be eaten warm or at room temperature, just as they are or split and spread with butter. Enjoy with a cup of tea or coffee!