Recipe: Marmite and Cheddar cheese buns

These buns divide people, as Marmite tends to: you’re either a lover or a hater. I happen to be in the former category, so these buns make me happy in ways that only Marmite and strong, tangy cheese can when encased in a soft pillowy dough.

Originally inspired by Signe Johansen’s Jarlsberg and Ale buns, in her brilliant book Scandilicious, I have much tinkered with the recipe to put a bit of a British spin on a Scandi idea.

Marmite & Cheddar cheese buns

For the dough:

  • 200g plain flour
  • 140g wholemeal flour
  • 250ml milk
  • 45g butter
  • 1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup 1 teaspoon dried yeast
  • 1 scant teaspoon of sea salt

For the filling:

  • 200g grated mature cheddar cheese
  • 60g salted butter at room temperature
  • A generous tablespoon of Marmite

For the topping:

  • A beaten egg
  • A sprinkle of poppy seeds
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Warm the milk and the butter until it is steaming before setting it aside to cool. By doing this it destroys certain proteins in the milk, which can make your bun a bit tougher. Stir in the teaspoon of honey and let it melt into the milk. Giving everything a gentle stir at this point will help it to cool down quicker, until it reaches a tepid temperature.

In a roomy bowl, weigh out the two flours and give them a stir to combine. Make a well in the middle and put in the teaspoon of yeast and cover it with a little of the milk, before setting it aside for a few minutes.

When the yeast is active, pour on the rest of the liquid and use your hands to bring it all together into a shaggy dough. Scrape the dough onto your work top and knead it gently for about 5-10 minutes, until it becomes stretchy and feels slightly elastic. Put the dough back into the bowl, cover with a clean tea towel and set it aside for about 40 minutes to double in size.

Scatter a little wholemeal flour on the work surface and gently remove the dough from the bowl. Give it a rough flatten with your hands before using a rolling pin to stretch the dough out to as large a rectangle as you can manage.

In a small bowl mix together the Marmite and the butter before liberally applying to the dough and then sprinkling the cheese over evenly. Roll the dough up into a tight saussage and then cut 5cm slices and place them on a baking sheet lined in greeseproof paper, equally spaced apart. Cover them back up with the tea towel, leave in a warm place and come back to them in about 30 minutes time when they have doubled in size again.

Preheat your oven to 200 degrees centigrade. Brush the buns with beaten egg, and scatter seeds and a sprinking of freshly ground black pepper on top before putting them in the oven for around 15-20 minutes.

This recipe makes approximately 12-15 buns.

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