Pancetta, Peach, Bourbon & Thyme Breakfast Buns

This is a bun that shoehorns everything I want for breakfast into one neat package. Sweet, savoury, peach and porky, spikily salty and sugary with a herbal twist. Umm, and booze…

I based this on Felicity Cloake’s chelsea bun recipe from her excellent Guardian Perfect column but replaced the butter for rendered Italian lardo. As you do. Well, I had the remainder of a lump of it reclining in the fridge and just knew it would enhance the dough for my intentions. Peach jam benefits from a lick of bourbon that’s echoed in an egg wash. I kept it fairly heavy on the pancetta after my introduction to Nuno Medes’ breakfast meat bread last week, an inspired addition to a newly launched breakfast menu at Taberno Do Mercado that also ticks many boxes for me, including as it does an oozing custard tart and some cute looking filled doughnuts. Alas, I haven’t made it there for breakfast yet, my delivery was from¬†Clerkenwell Boy¬†, my lunchtime partner in crime at, always perfect, Lyles.

Makes 9

200ml whole milk

60g rendered pork fat

450g strong white flour

2 tablespoons caster sugar

1 egg beaten

1 teaspoon salt

sachet fast action yeast

pancetta, finely chopped

fresh thyme

For filling and finishing


beaten egg

caster sugar



white peach


fresh thyme

I had some lardo in the fridge, so I rendered that down in the oven, obviously retaining the meat scraps to throw back into the dough, but you could use butter in it’s place.

Mix the milk with the pork fat. In a large bowl put the flour and sugar, whisk in the yeast, then add the milk mixture and egg and stir to combine before mixing in the salt.

Knead the dough on a clean surface for around 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Replace in the bowl, cover and leave to rise for around 2 hours or until doubled in size.

Meanwhile make the jam. I use a very simple method, finely chopping 3 peaches, then add the juice of a lemon and a good level of caster sugar, around the same weight of the fruit. Boil for several minutes until it thickens then add a slug of bourbon and heat again until slightly reduced.

Knock back the dough, adding the chopped pancetta at the same time and fully incorporate then roll into a long rectangle. Spread with butter and the jam then roll up from the long side. Carefully cut into 9 evenly sized pieces, making sure not to squash them too much as you cut. Place into an oiled, square baking tray.

At this stage I left my buns to prove overnight covered in the fridge so that I could bake them fresh, and more importantly eat them warm, the following morning, but they only really need a 30 minute rise. When you’re ready to bake, brush with an egg wash pimped with a glug of bourbon, scatter with thyme and caster sugar and place in the centre of an oven pre heated to 200 degrees for around 30-35 minutes.



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