Its lovely to read Jane Mason's experience of coming across Tlalchigual buns near Lake Chapala in Mexico, and how lucky for us to find this recipe in her Book of Buns. When Mr S and I are travelling around one of our favourite things is to try local food, and often it is the small outlets or sole vendors that come up with delicious morsels.
This is the early February Facebook Group challenge. For these buns you make a starter dough and a sugar solution on the day before you want to bake. To be authentic you would need to use a cone of piloncillo from Mexico, which is made by boiling down and shaping cane syrup...I can just imagine the lovely flavour. Where I grew up in Mauritius one of the perks of knowing someone who worked at a sugar refinery was being offered a bottle of 'Sirop Canne'..a dark brown reduction that tasted not too sweet but full of other complex flavours. I would love to be able to try this in baking! However having neither piloncillo or Sirop Canne, I used Billington's dark brown muscavodo sugar from Mauritius and a teaspoon of molasses.
I followed the instruction for the day of baking, by starting the yeast in a little of the syrup...once before I had used my dried yeast with a molasses solution, but had had difficulty, and once again it did not look right...maybe the natural minerals and salts in the molasses overwhelms the yeast, so instead I first got the dried yeast going in a little plain water, with a tablespoon of the sweet solution. It worked beautifully.
I used wholemeal flour from our local water mill at Charlecote, hazel nuts and candied citron and lemon peel, as well as some cherries.
Most Mondays I have a little friend who comes to taste my buns and he loves singing his song about buns with cherries on the top..so he'll need to sing one about buns with cherries in them, when he has one of these on his next visit! Here is my friend Penny reading to my bun taster in chief.
Here is the dough ready to be portioned, with nuts and fruits all throughout the dough.
The buns rose beautifully and filled the house with a wonderful aroma as they cooked in the oven....they are now cooling ready for Friday bun day.