Dolce Milanese


about green sultanas
and the Italian take on a lardy cake

I mentioned in my previous post that I started exploring a little book of buns from all over the world and a few recipes really stood out for me. This is the first one that I tested and it will remain known in our household as the recipe that made me use sultanas. For as far as I can remember I  picked them out, the lot - sultanas , raisins, currents and everything else that even remotely resembles them. 
To my big surprise one day I just bought a bag of green sultanas in the local Turkish shop. I cant explain why, they just looked different, long and thin, juicy and beautifully green.. I was simply drawn to them and then I forgot about them and they spent a good few months in the cupboard waiting for the right moment to show me what they've got .
While I was reading the recipe and later while I was making them I couldn't help it but think that they reminded me of something I previously saw or made, just couldn't remember what; until I saw Paul Hollywood making a lardy cake. That was it..  stylish Italian recreation of a lardy cake, with one "little" twist - butter, instead of lard. Or it's all just my way of seeing it? My English friends disapprove of my view. Well, one way or another, we all loved them.  But I still see them as an Italian version of  English lardy cake made with Turkish green sultana. 

Dolce Milanese 

500g sultana or raisins
 soaked over night ( water reserved)


205 g flour
1 tsp dry yeast
2 tbsp sugar
150 g cup of sultana's water
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp rum or brandy
1 tbsp orange zest
100 g butter

1 egg
1 tbsp water

Soak the sultanas in plenty of water and leave overnight. Drain them and reserve the water in separate cup. Put the flour in a bowl, sprinkle over with dry yeast and cover with warm reserved sultana water. Cover with a little bit of flour and leave to rest for 1 hour.
Add the salt, rum and orange zest and bring everything together in a ball; knead for about 10 minutes, then add the butter, bit by bit while kneading until all the butter is incorporated. Allow to rest for 6 hours.
Roll the dough into a rectangle about 5 mm thick, scatter a third of the soaked sultanas over it, fold one of the long sides into the middle of the dough, then do the same with the other side so they meet ( see below).
Now roll it out to widen it into a rectangle and scatter over another third of sultanas, fold and roll again, then repeat once more. Pinch the edges together and flip it over so it is seam side down. Allow it to rest for 20 minutes.
Cut the dough into 2 long strips then cut each strip into 10 pieces, place in the baking sheet, cover and allow to rest for another 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 220C/425F.

Mix the ingredients for the glaze together and brush the buns before putting them in the oven. Bake for 20 minutes. Cover them with some aluminium foil towards the end if they are getting too brown.
Allow them to cool completely before serving.

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