fitzrovia buns

These buns from Honey & Co have been on my to-make list for ages. Before I could make them I had to source some sour cherries.
My usual supplier, a local health food store, suddenly closed down a few months ago and it took me a few months before I found another source.
I made the buttery dough the night before baking the buns, rolled them before I went grocery shopping, then baked them on my return for a late breakfast. Look at all those gorgeous cherries and pistachios.

The recipe made 8 buns and while they were in the oven I made the honey and sugar syrup with which to douse the buns.

Here's the recipe for you which makes 6 - 8 buns. For all my recipes I use a 250 ml cup, a 20 ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60 g eggs. My oven is a conventional oven so if you have a fan-forced oven you may need to reduce the temperature by 20ºC.
Fitzrovia Buns adapted from Honey & Co


70g unsalted butter, diced and at room temperature

1½ tsp dried yeast

1 egg

60g caster sugar

80–100 mls milk

300g plain flour

pinch salt


Place the butter, yeast, egg, sugar and 80 mls of the milk in a large mixing bowl, then top with the flour and salt. Use the dough attachment on your mixer or your hands to bring it all together to a smooth, shiny dough, adding the remaining 20 mls of milk if it looks dry. Don’t worry too much if you still have some whole flecks of butter running through the dough; they will make your final bun super-light.


Once the dough has a nice texture to it (after about 2–3 minutes with an electric mixer or 5–6 minutes working by hand), wrap the bowl in plastic wrap and place in the fridge to chill for at least 2 hours to 12 hours.

Here are a few guidelines to working with this dough:

  • Allow at least 2 hours to refrigerate it before shaping, as it can be very soft when freshly made. Ideally, if you plan ahead, make the dough the day before, place it in a large bowl, cover and refrigerate overnight. 
  • Try to work it with as little additional flour as you dare. The end product will benefit greatly. Work on a cool surface in a cool kitchen, as the dough will soften quickly once out of the fridge.
  • Have all your fillings ready before you start on the dough. It also helps if you have your tray lined in advance.
  • If you are going to bake after shaping, leave the buns at room temperature to prove.
  • If you are preparing in advance, freeze the unbaked buns as soon as they are shaped (to preserve as much yeast activity as possible when you send it to sleep in the freezer.
  • You can shape the buns in the evening, place them on the baking tray and pop them in the fridge to prove slowly overnight and bake first thing in the morning.
  • Filled dough will keep for up to a week in the freezer but after that they start to deteriorate and lose their plumpness.
  • Always freeze unbaked dough uncovered on a tray, then (once frozen) you can transfer to a container or freezer bag or wrap the tray with plastic wrap. When you are ready to bake, thaw overnight in the fridge before taking out to proof in the morning (or if you only sleep 5–6 hours, simply leave them out at room temperature, and when you wake they should be ready to bake).


50g unsalted butter at room temperature

100g light brown sugar

2 tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp vanilla paste

75g dried sour cherries

60g chopped pistachios, reserving 1 tbs for decoration

a little cream or melted butter

1 batch base sugar syrup (recipe follows)


Mix the butter, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla in a small bowl until well combined. Remove the dough from the fridge and roll out with a rolling pin on a very lightly floured workbench to a rectangle about 8 x 12 inches. You may need to flip the dough over once or twice to get an even, smooth sheet, but try to work with as little flour as you can so as not to dry the dough out.


Lay the rectangle lengthwise in front of you and spread the spiced butter in a thin layer all over, all the way to the edges, then sprinkle the cherries and pistachios at regular intervals on top, so that each bite will contain a bit of everything.

Lift the long edge of the dough closest to you and start rolling it up away from you, keeping it nice and tight without stretching the dough, until you end up with a sausage about 12 inches long. If it comes out a little longer, push it in from both ends to condense it a little; if it comes out shorter, then use your hands to roll it out a little until it reaches 12 inches. Cut into 6 or 8 even-sized slices, depending on how many buns you want.

Line a 12 x 8 inch baking tin with a piece of baking parchment so that it comes up the sides in one piece, and lay the buns flat on the base, spiral facing upwards. This is the time to freeze the buns if you want to bake them at a later date; otherwise leave them in a warm place.

After 15–20 minutes, preheat the oven to 200°C. Allow the buns to continue rising. The dough should have expanded and should be shiny and taut. Brush each bun with a little cream or melted butter and sprinkle the remaining pistachios over the top.

Place in the centre of the oven for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 180°C and then turn the tin for an even bake. Bake for another 10 minutes, then remove from the oven and pour over the sugar syrup. Allow to cool slightly before devouring.

Base sugar syrup

75 mls water

75 mls sugar

2 tsp honey 



Place all the ingredients in a small pan and stir to dissolve the sugar. Bring to the boil, skim off any foam that comes to the top and remove from the heat. You can make this syrup in advance — just keep it in a jar or bottle in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

I can't even begin to tell you how fabulous these buns are, still warm from the oven. I will definitely be making these again.

2021 update - I can report the dough for these buns can be made in a bread maker. I used the Brabantia bread maker, a gift from Everten.

See you all again next week with some more baking from my kitchen.

Bye for now,




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