Lemon Buns

After making pavlova for Easter, I was left with three egg yolks. I’m sure most people just scramble up leftover egg parts, but eggs are not my favourite things to eat. I have wanted to try Lemon Buns for a while and with Jeff tucked away in this office last weekend studying for a professional exam, it seemed like a good opportunity to try them out and use my egg yolks up in the process.

The verdict? The buns were really lovely but the lemon curd was really tart. REALLY tart. I’m talking pucker-up-and-nearly-sneeze-its-so tart! I have made lemon curd a few times using this recipe, which I think I prefer and will probably use next time. I think I’ll also save these for special occasions, as they are a bit labour intensive, although very much worth the effort.

Lemon Buns
adapted from Mennonite Girls Can Cook
yield: just over 2 dozen buns

1 tablespoons instant yeast
5-6 cups flour
1 cups milk, scalded
1/2 cup lard, cubed
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs, beaten
1 cups warm water

In a large bowl (I used the bowl of my KitchenAid stand mixer) stir together dry instant yeast and 2 cups flour. Scald milk (I used my microwave) and add lard. Stir until lard is completely melted. Stir sugar and salt into hot milk mixture. In a separate bowl, beat eggs well and add the warm water. Add in several tablespoons of the hot milk mixture, mix well, then pour the egg mixture into the hot milk mixture. Stir well.

Add all the liquid to the yeast and flour mixture. Stir well. Incorporate at least 4 cups of flour to make a soft sticky dough. Using the remaining several cups of flour, continue adding as you knead until your dough is smooth, but still very soft (I used the dough hook on my mixer). Take care not over knead this dough- it will remain sticky (see photo). Cover and place in a warm draft free area to rise until double in bulk, approximately 45 minutes. While dough is rising, make lemon curd (either the original recipe here, or my recommendation here).

Assembly: After its first rising, punch down the bun dough. Pinch off small pieces of dough (about the size of an egg) and form a flat circle about the circumference of a hocky puck. Poke a hole in the middle of the circle and gently stretch the dough outward so that it expands to the size of a tea saucer and is an even thickness all the way around (stretching the hole as well so you create a large doughnut). Twist the dough in the middle to form a figure 8 and place down on a nonstick pan or baking sheet. Repeat! While this sounds like a lot of work, it actually goes quite quickly. Make sure to leave enough room between the buns for for them to rise, and leave them to rise for another 45 minutes.

After the second rising, preheat oven to 375º. Place a small spoon full of lemon curd on each side of the figure 8 (as in photo above). If the indentations have risen too high, use the handle end of a wooden spoon to gently poke them down again. Bake for 12-15  minutes until lightly browned. Once completely cooled, drizzle with an icing sugar glaze. At this point they freeze very well… if you don’t eat them all first!
Lemon buns (with unusually vibrant coloured lemon curd thanks to fresh free-range eggs)
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