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Fancy Sampling a ‘Brum’ Bun?

Friday, October 9, 2015


The Great Birmingham Bun is set to line up alongside sweet British classics such as Dundee Cake and the Bakewell Tart. The bun's been created for the upcoming Great Birmingham Run (GBR) by top chef David Colcombe, with the help of bakery students from the city's University College. He drew on Birmingham's history and ethnic diversity as well as his own childhood memories to come up with the recipe for the bun.Although designed to provide an energy boost for those participating in the GBR on October 18th, the bun is sure to provide a tasty treat for all. The ingredients include a custard filling that pays tribute to Birmingham's own Bird's Custard; spices and fruit representing the Asian community and coconut flour to recognise the culinary influence of the Afro-Caribbean population.“I also took inspiration from my childhood memories of growing up in the city,'” said David.“I still remember the flavours of the custard slices and sticky buns brought home by my gran at the end of her shift at the local bakery.”Neil Rippington, Dean of the College of Food at University College Birmingham, said:“It's great to see the city's cultural heritage celebrated in classic bakery.”

Chef David Colcombe with Great Birmingham Buns

The Great Birmingham Bun Recipe


For the pastry:

  • 350g strong white flour
  • 150g coconut flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 7g fast-acting yeast
  • 200ml full fat milk
  • 100ml whipping cream
  • 40g unsalted butter
  • 2 free range eggs
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1tsp nutmeg
  • 1tsp cinnamon

For the pastry cream:

  • ½ litre milk (infuse with cardamom overnight)
  • 3 drops vanilla essence
  • 50g sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 50g sieved white plain flour
  • 1 cardamom pod

For the filling:

  • 100g badam or almonds
  • 100g kishmish or raisins
  • 100g khubani or apricots

To finish:

  • 75g orange jam
  • 1 tbsp water
  • Orange zest


For the pastry cream:

  1. Sieve milk to remove cardamom pod, which has been infusing overnight; add vanilla and warm over medium heat.
  2. Whisk sugar and egg yolks until pale and creamy. Gradually add flour and whisk until smooth. Add half of the warm milk and mix well. Pour all of mixture into pan and slowly bring to boil. Stir constantly until mixture thickens.
  3. Cool and put aside, putting a butter pat or cling film on top to avoid a skin.

Chef’s tip: Best made the day before and leave in fridge overnight.For the bun:

  1. Sieve strong white flour, coconut flour and salt into a large bowl. Make a well in centre, and add yeast.
  2. Warm milk, cream, butter, nutmeg and cinnamon until butter is melted and mixture is lukewarm. Add to flour and add eggs until it comes together as a soft dough.
  3. Place on lightly floured surface and knead for five minutes until elastic in consistency.
  4. Place in oiled bowl; cover and leave until doubled in size (will take 50-80 minutes).
  5. When ready, take half of the mixture and place on floured surface and roll into rectangle 15x10cm.
  6. Spread on half of the pastry cream and sprinkle half the fruits and almonds on top.
  7. Tack down the dough nearest to you and roll opposite side towards you, tightly.
  8. Cut into thick rounds approx. 2cm thick.
  9. Repeat with other half of the dough.
  10. Prepare baking trays with greaseproof paper; place buns cut side up and leave to rise for 30 minutes.
  11. Pre-heat oven to 180ºC, Gas Mark 4.
  12. To cook, place in oven for 20-25 minutes; remove and place on cooling rack.
  13. Blanch orange zest three times in boiling water, add zest to jam and melt with a little water; brush buns with orange mixture to glaze.
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