Spring is here, bringing with it a whole new season of delectable goodies. The teapigs test kitchen has been working in over drive thinking up new recipes to share with you, and we think we’re on to a real winner with this one. A twist on a tea time classic, inspired by one of the most English bits of veg we can think of – meet our mouthwatering rhubarb & ginger iced buns. Sweet with a touch of spice, this will get you through those not-quite-warm-enough Spring days just fine.

Now, before we get started, a fair warning to you fine folk. Making the buns is the most time consuming bit of the recipe – around the 4 hour mark from start to buns out the oven. It sound daunting, but it’s a super simple recipe - even if you’ve never made bread before. We believe in you!

Makes 12 buns

For the tea concentrate:

You’ll be splitting this 75ml for your dough, and 30ml for your icing.

  • 3-5 rhubarb & ginger tea temples, depending on how strong you like it!
  • 105ml water

For the dough:

  • 75ml of your tea concentrate
  • 125ml milk
  • 250g strong white flour (plus extra to dust)
  • 250g plain flour
  • 7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 50g unsalted butter, softened (plus extra to grease)
  • 1 medium egg (beaten)
  • 1 tsp fine salt

For the icing:

  • 30ml of your tea concentrate
  • 250g icing sugar
  • Optional - pink food colouring & sprinkles, if you're feeling fancy!

Making your bread:

  • Brew your rhubarb & ginger in 105ml of water for 10-15 minutes – this is your tea concentrate! Put aside 30ml (about 2 tbsp) for your icing.
  • Remove temples and add 75ml of the concentrate to 125ml milk, and gently heat until warm, but not boiling. Set aside to cool until lukewarm. 
  • Sift your two flours into a large bowl and stir in your yeast, sugar, and 1tsp of fine salt. (Always remember to double check your yeast’s instructions, as some need to bloom in the tea & milk mixture first!) 
  • Make a well in the centre and add your butter, egg, and tea & milk mixture. Mix to a soft dough.
  • Once combined, tip onto a work surface that is very lightly dusted with flour and knead by hand for 10 minutes until smooth & elastic. Pro tip: dough is sticky! It will come together as you knead. If mixing by hand, keep a bowl of water handy to keep your hands wet. This helps stop the dough from sticking to you, and means you don’t keep adding flour to your mix which can change the recipe balance and leave you with a tough bread.
  • Form your dough into a ball, using the sides of your hands to pull the dough tight, tucking ends underneath until a tight, smooth surface is created. (Don’t worry, you don’t need to be Paul Hollywood to achieve this! There are lots of videos online to help you).
  • Lightly grease your cleaned out bowl with butter or oil, pop your dough back in, and cover with greased clingfilm or a tea towel. Leave in a warm place to rise until the dough doubles in size – this is known as “proofing”. This will take 1 ½ - 2 hours, but maybe less on a particularly hot day so keep an eye on it! Meanwhile, line a baking tray with parchment paper, and pour yourself a well-deserved brew.
  • Once your dough has doubled, punch down the dough – this “knocking back” helps to create a more uniform texture in your dough (and makes you feel like you’re on Bake Off).
  • Tip your dough out (top side down) and pull the corners out into a rectangle shape. Then, fold it in thirds – like you would fold a letter to fit in an envelope. Flip over so the crease is on the underside, and roughly shape your dough into a log.
  • Divide the dough in 12 equal pieces – you can do this by eye, or using a scale if you’ve fully committed to the Bake Off bit. Bonus points if you’ve cut your hair short, dyed it silver, and started handing out handshakes to your friends & family if they’ve impressed you while you were waiting for your dough to proof.
  • Roll each section into a tight ball again, then shape each piece into a 10cm/4in sausage by rolling back and forth with both hands from the centre, pulling the dough out into the sausage shape as you go. You’re doing really well – we’re in the home stretch!
  • Once all of your rolls are shaped, arrange them on your lined baking sheet in two rows of six, leaving about 1.5cm between them. Cover again with your greased clingfilm (you can reuse the same one from earlier!), and leave for a final 45min proof or until the buns have puffed up and are now touching. Time for another tea break, we think…!
  • While you’re waiting, preheat the oven to 200C (180C fan, gas mark 6, or 400F - whatever your preference) 
  • Uncover the buns and bake for 12-15mins until risen and golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

To make the icing:

Now for something really simple – icing!

  • Sift your icing sugar into a bowl 
  • Take your remaining 30ml of rhubarb & ginger concentrate (that’s about 2tbsp) and slowly add a little at a time until your icing is just about spreadable – unless you love a particularly runny bun! Add a little pink dye if you fancy!
  • Once your buns are cool, tear them apart and spread (or pipe with a flat nozzle) your icing onto the buns, and top with sprinkles or any other decorations.. Leave to set before serving.

You did it, star baker! You made your own rhubarby, gingery delights. Hand shakes and blue eyed stares all around. To kick your rhubarb & ginger iced buns up a notch, why not enjoy with lashings of rhubarb jam and cream or custard?! Homemade or store bought, you’ve earned it. Bring in a bit more of that ginger heat by spicing your custard for a real game changer.

We’d LOVE to see your results – and variations! – so be sure to tag us on social @teapigshk. Now, if you’ll excuse us, we’ll be drooling over the pictures of creations on our next tea break, and elevenses, and afternoon snack time, and tea time, and after dinner…

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