Saturday, September 28, 2013

Decadent Dad's Famous LAWRENCE BUNS

Lawrence Buns and Croissant waiting for sale at the market, along with honey and cheeses

Some of the best sellers at our farmer's markets are my creative husband's Lawrence Buns. He gets up at 2am on market day to bake these cinnamon swirls of buttery pastry. He created this recipe himself, loosely based on a croissant recipe. The buns are named in honour of his grandfather, Granddad Lawrence, who used to be a baker's boy, and who knew all the best pastry shops in Cape Town, down to who had the best custard slices, danish pastries or pig's ears. When Neville Lawrence was a bakers boy, his job was to punch down the troughs of rising dough at 4am while the baker was still sleeping. He did this by launching himself onto the dough, boots and all. 

The buns use a lot of butter, all supplied by our obliging cows, Rosie and Joy. 

A friend asked Grant to share his special recipe after her children longed  for them after visiting the farm. My generous hubby happily agreed to share the recipe, as long as the buns keep their name. It takes plenty of time and muscle power to make them, but the buns are worth it.  So here you go:


Stage 1:
Make the dough, this should be done two days before baking.

Mix together
600g flour
10g instant yeast
120g sugar
Splash of vanilla essence 
One teaspoon cinnamon powder 
200g milk
240g warm water
11g salt

I mix together with a K beater in the Kenwood until smooth, this does not take long. It will make a very sticky dough.
Place the dough in a large sealed container and put in the fridge for up to four days, best after two days.

Stage 2:
Making the butter pat:
When you are ready to make the buns, you must first make up the butter pat.
370g butter room temp
1/4 c  flour

Mix until smooth
Now spread this mixture out on wax proof paper to about 8 mm thick, try and get it to a square shape.
When finished the butter put another wax paper on top and give a quick roll with rolling pin, making it a bit smoother. Now you have a paper sandwich, pop it into the fridge until it has firmed up. This does not take long +\- 15mins.

Stage 3:
Now take the lovely smelling dough out the fridge and roll out, to double the size of the butter pat.
The dough will be quite sticky, so be sure to use lots of flour when rolling out.
Get the  butter,  place it on half the dough and fold the other side over to make a sandwich. Roll out until about 8 mm thick. Now fold into three layers, long sides together. 

Roll out again. Keep well floured , the butter is going to want to break out of the dough. Now fold again, three layers, but the opposite way thus time. Roll out. And for the last time fold, turn and roll out  to roughly 4-5 mm.

Cinnamon powder
250g Cake fruit mix

Spread the cake mix evenly over the dough.
Now cover the dough with a sprinkling of your sugar and cinnamon.
Roll the dough up. 
Cut into one inch spiral rounds.
Place on a greased baking tray about an inch apart.
Cover with cling wrap and let them rise for at least three hours.
Lawrence Buns almost ready for baking with croissants in the background
Set your oven at 190deg C and bake for about 35-45 mins.

160g castor sugar
Teaspoon vanilla essence

Mix sugar essence and water until you have a thick paste, paint onto buns as they come out the oven. Let the fragrant buns stand for 20 mins and eat.

(waiting for a close up photo of the finished buns)

Please share the recipe if you enjoy the buns, but keep the name, Lawrence Buns and give credit to Grant Wood aka Decadent Dad as the recipe creator.