A to Z Recipes
Bath Buns
Bath Buns were originally made by Dr. W. Oliver, an eminent 18th century physician who treated many of the Londoners visiting the Spa at Bath to take the water. He invented a rich, sweet bun that his patients adored. Unfortunately, they ate too many and undid all the good of his treatment. Being a good business man, he then cunningly invented a plain biscuit for his patients, which was not as fattening as the buns. These are known today as Bath Oliver biscuits. Makes 12.

BATTER INGREDIENTS: Plain flour - 150 g (5 oz), Caster sugar - 1 tsp, Dried yeast - 2 tsp (or 15 g fresh yeast), Milk - 150 ml, hand-hot (warm if using fresh yeast), Water - 150 ml less 4 tbsp, hand-hot (warm if using fresh yeast).

DOUGH INGREDIENTS: Plain flour - 300 g (11 oz), Butter - 50 g (2 oz), diced, Eggs - 2 beaten, Caster sugar - 75 g (3 oz), Sultanas - 175 g (6 oz), Cut mixed peel - 50 g (2 oz).

EGG GLAZE INGREDIENTS: Egg - 1, Caster sugar - 1 tsp, Water - 1 tbsp, Sugar lumps - 40g (1* oz), crushed.

COOKING: 1. Place the batter ingredients in a large bowl. Beat with a wooden spoon until smooth, then leave in a warm place until frothy for about 20 minutes.
2. For the dough, place the flour in a bowl and rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
3. Add the rubbed in mixture, eggs, sugar, sultanas and mixed peel to the batter. Beat well for about 10 minutes.
4. Cover and leave to rise for about 1 hour, or until the dough has doubled in size and will spring back when lightly pressed.
5. Pre-heat oven to 220C / 425F / Gas 7 and lightly butter 2 baking sheets.
6. Beat the dough well for a few minutes. Place tablespoonsful of the dough on the baking sheets Cover and leave in a warm place for 30 minutes until doubled in size.
7. Place the egg, sugar and water in a bowl and beat until well mixed.
8. Uncover the buns and brush with the egg glaze and sprinkle with crushed sugar. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Leave to cool on a wire rack.