Buns are small rolls, made with flour, sugar, butter, yeast and eggs, that are richer and sweeter than plain bread. They can be flavoured or filled with other ingredients, such as spices and dried fruits. Different types of buns include: Bath buns, Chelsea buns, currant buns such as hot cross buns, Colston buns, London buns and saffron buns. A bun can also refer to a bread roll, such as a burger bun.
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Buns can quickly go stale if exposed to air – ideally, allow to cool then wrap them in cling film or aluminium foil and keep them stored in airtight containers for up to three days. Alternatively, freeze them and keep for up to three months. Defrost buns slowly in the fridge to prevent condensation from forming on their surface.
Most buns are made with a yeast-based dough that gives rise to a lighter and fluffier texture than that of traditional breads. Buns vary regionally; in a basic recipe, the flour and yeast are combined with an amount of liquid (usually water or milk) to form a soft dough mixture, which is then left to rise (often more than once). The soft, pliable, aerated dough is then shaped into small round buns and left to rise again before baking. Flavourings such as spices, lemon peel, dried fruits can be mixed into the dough or pressed into the top at this stage.