Sepia Saturday on Sunday!
London “Bath” Buns for Best of British and Seventy Years of Be-Ro Baking
Yes, it’s my weekly Sepia Saturday post, where I bake my way through seventy years of Be- Ro cookbooks from my treasured collection, only, of course it’s SUNDAY now, and therefore Sepia Saturday is Sepia Sunday this week……with apologies for the tardy post, but I have been very busy lately, and we also have eight guests staying with us at the moment, so time is at a premium! And my weekly Be-Ro bake this week is a NEW recipe for me, London Buns, or London “Bath” Buns, and I can honestly say that I have NEVER made these before, and I am not sure if my mum or grandmother have made them either; but, I DO remember trying something similar in a café before, as well as a church fête cake stall.
The history behind these buns is interesting; little fruited and sugar topped buns that were produced outside of Bath were sometimes known as “London Bath buns” or “London buns”. And, I could have made this recipe from several other recipe books of mine; in the book “Good Things in England” (one of my favourite historical cook books) the author, Florence White, gives two contrasting recipes for Bath buns – one from 1904 with peel, currants and crushed sugar, and one from the early eighteenth century with sack, rosewater and caraway comfits. The Be-Ro version is obviously based on the 1904 recipe, but the currants have been dropped and only the peel and crushed sugar remain. These “modern” London Buns were also though to have originated from the Great Exhibition of 1851, where vast amounts of “Bath” style buns were made, but without the yeast, and in the manner of a scone or rock cake.
But, as I am baking my way through my collection of Be-Ro books, my recipe today is the easy and rather “scone” like Be-Ro London Buns recipe…….taken from the 24th million edition of one of my old Be-Ro cookbooks.
Now as these delightful tea time treats appear to originate from the Great Exhibition of 1851, which was in Crystal Palace in London, and as they are called London buns and have some provenance from London, I am also hoping that these little treats will win me £50 of Amazon vouchers, by entering them into the latest Best of British Blog Challenge, which is being hosted by Fiona from London Unattached this month, and the region is LONDON of course! New World Appliances are sponsoring this challenge and there’s a £50 amazon token for one winner chosen at random from this month’s entries…plus a GRAND prize of £300 of amazon vouchers for the overall Best of British Blogger which will be judged! So, here’s hoping that my rather HISTORICAL London Buns recipe may be in with a chance…..
But back to my recipe briefly; I made the recipe as printed in my Be-Ro cookbook, but, in place of lemon essence, I added some grated lemon zest and some fresh lemon juice, as well as adding an ounce more of mixed peel too. These buns reminded me VERY much of Fat Rascals, they weren’t as rich, but the texture and shape were very similar. These are a cross between a scone and a rock cake or rock bun, and just like scones, I think they are best eaten on the same day, although I popped a couple in the freezer and defrosted them this morning, and they were still lovely and fresh, so freezing them is an option too.
These will make a GREAT treat for the school or work lunch box, as well as family afternoon tea on Sunday maybe, and, the fat and sugar content is MUCH lower than most commercial cakes, scones or buns too. They would also be great for children to bake along with mum (or dad) in the kitchen, and for a lower calorie count, you can make them smaller of course. I love historical recipes, and next time, I am going to make a batch from the Florence White book, “Good Things in England”, and see how they turn out. I hope you have enjoyed my weekly Be-Ro and Best of British bake, I am back on the fast next week, so look out for some NEW 5:2 diet fast day recipes, as well as my usual meal plan on Monday and many other treats and surprises! Have a wonderful Sunday, Karen
If you fancy joining in, just add your recipe/post link to the Linky below, or if you don’t have a blog, please just leave a comment and let me know that you baked along with Be-Ro! Happy baking,