Ruby Tandoh’s recipe for sweet cherry and marzipan buns | Life and style

Making bread at home can take a while, but if you’ve got a lazy afternoon at your disposal, it’s well worth the trouble: most of the time it takes to nurse these breads from heavy little dough lumps to magnificent, sticky buns is spent just waiting for the yeast to do its work, during which time you can catch up on Love Island, if you’re lucky. Make a blackberry or apricot compote instead of the cherry if you prefer – just adjust the sugar accordingly.

Sweet cherry and marzipan buns

Prep 20 min
Rise 2-3 hr
Cook 20 min
Makes 12

For the dough
300ml whole milk
10g fast-action dried yeast
500g strong white flour
50g caster sugar
1 tsp salt
100g butter, softened

For the filling
300g fresh or frozen cherries, halved and stoned
50g caster sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
½ tbsp cornflour
Icing sugar, for dusting
200g marzipan

To glaze
20-25ml water
100g icing sugar

Gently heat the milk until it is lukewarm. Whisk in the yeast and leave to sit for 10 minutes to give the yeast a chance to come to life.

Combine the flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl, then rub in the butter until no visible flakes of fat are left. Pour in the yeast mixture and work the dough with your hands. Knead for 10 minutes, until smooth, springy and soft. It will be a bit sticky to start with, but it should absorb more water as you work the dough. Put in a clean bowl and cover with clingfilm. Leave to rise for one to two hours, until doubled in size. How long this takes will depend on the temperature of your home (yeast works quicker in warmer temperatures).

Meanwhile, mix the cherries, caster sugar and lemon juice in a medium pan over a medium-low heat. Cook, stirring regularly, for five to 10 minutes, or until the cherries have released their juices. Add the cornflour, stir to combine and cook for a couple of minutes to thicken the juices. Decant into a clean bowl and leave to cool.

Divide the dough into 12 and shape each piece into a taut ball. Flatten each between your palms and pull it into a concave disc roughly 10cm across and fatter at the edges than in the middle. The hollow at the centre of each bun should be at least 6cm wide. Arrange the buns on two baking trays lined with greaseproof paper, cover loosely with clingfilm and leave to rise for 45 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4.

While the buns rise, roll the marzipan to 3-4mm thick, using a little icing sugar to stop it sticking to the surface or the rolling pin. Cut out 12 circles with a 6-7cm pastry cutter. Press the circles into the hollows of the risen buns, then divide the cherry mixture between the buns, spooning it on to the marzipan. Bake for 20 minutes, until the buns have risen and are golden.

For the glaze, stir the water into the icing sugar to give a smooth, runny icing. Brush it over the edges of the buns as soon as they are out of the oven, then leave to cool completely before tucking in.

  • Food styling: Emily Kydd. Prop styling: Jennifer Kay. Food assistant: Katy Gilhooly

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