Suffolk Buns are traditionally made to eat on St. Edmunds Day, (20th November) an East Anglia, (Suffolk) treat made in South-East England. Since the 1800s these sticky buns have been made with caraway seeds, (sometimes with the addition of currants), rice flour, and with honey drizzled over when baked. If you like the very subtle taste of aniseed, which comes from the caraway, then you will enjoy these Suffolk Buns.
Notes about St Edmund the Martyr: Edmund comes from the Old English: ēad, meaning “prosperity” or “riches” and mund, meaning “protector”. He died on the 20th November in 869 or 870 A.D. and was a king of East Anglia, an Anglo-Saxon kingdom which today includes the English counties of Norfolk and Suffolk. He was killed by the invading Danes under their leaders Ubbe Ragnarsson and Ivar the Boneless. Important Note: St Edmund was originally the English patron saint but was ousted when Edward III replaced him with the foreign saint, St George.
Suffolk Buns Recipe:
- 400g plain flour
- 150g rice flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 200g butter, softened
- 100g caster sugar
- 40g caraway seeds
- 3 tbsp honey
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 tbsp milk
- (optional) 40g of currants can also be added
- 3 tbsp honey to drizzle over the buns
In a mixing bowl sift in the plain flour and the rice flour. Rub in the softened butter until the flour resembles fine breadcrumbs.
Then stir into it the sugar and caraway seeds (and currants if adding). Stir in the beaten eggs, honey and sufficient milk to produce a smooth but dry paste / dough. When brought together mix it thoroughly between your fingers and then turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface.
Preheat the oven to 200C and lightly butter a baking sheet.
Roll out the dough so that it is 2.5 cm (1 inch) thick. Use a 5 cm (2 inch) pastry cutter and gently cut out rounds with a slight twisting motion so that you cleanly cut, rather than squash, the rounds out of the dough (like a Victorian scone).
Place the rounds on the greased baking sheet, keeping a space between them.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the oven until risen and lightly golden brown. When baked remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.
When still warm drizzle over the top of the Suffolk Buns some honey to serve and eat.