Hard to believe that Easter flew past so quickly this year. Have been making the most of the season by throwing together a batch of buns on Friday evenings to bake on Saturday morning. Experimented with the spice content by combining mixed spice (1 tablespoon), cinnamon powder (1 tablespoon), powdered ginger and cloves (1 teaspoon each), and grated nutmeg and allspice (1/2 teaspoon each). Strove not to be constrained by convention by trying variations with saffron, cardamom, and coriander.
dried, powdered orange peel
|The evening before the day you’ll bake the buns, whisk the flour, sugar, yeast, and spices together in a large bowl for 30 seconds. Whisk the milk, egg, and oil briefly in a jug then pour into a well in the dry ingredients; mix to form a sticky dough. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and rest the dough for about an hour at room temperature.
Knead dough on a lightly floured bench for 30 seconds, and shape into a ball. Pour about a teaspoon of oil into the same bowl and return the dough, flipping the ball so that its surface is coated with a thin film of oil. Cover the bowl again and stand for another hour.
Prepare a baking dish by lining it with baking paper, and dribbling about 2-3 teaspoons of oil in the base.
Stretch the dough into a rectangular shape on an oiled surface and scatter the dried fruit over. Roll up the dough and slice into twelve equal portions. Shape each portion into a smooth bun shape, incorporating the fruit can be tricky. As each bun takes shape, arrange it in the baking dish, flipping it in the oil slick in the base of the tray so the top of the bun is protected with a thin, oily smear.
When all the buns are formed and arranged, slide the whole tray into a shopping bag, and knot the handles to make a tent.
Leave the buns to rise over night at room temperature (or refrigerator if you are squeamish about bacteria).
|Crosses & Glaze|
|self raising flour
|good grind of coarse salt|
|1||egg, beaten with 1 teaspoon water|
|2 tablespoons||golden caster sugar|
|While the oven preheats to 220C the following morning, make a paste from the flour, water and salt. Scrape into a freezer bag, knot securely and snip off one of the corner tips. Brush buns with beaten egg wash, and pipe crosses over before sliding into the oven for 10 minutes. (Alternatively, brush a cross on each bun about 5 minutes before they are baked). Rotate tray, lower heat to 200C and bake for a further 20 minutes. Meanwhile make a syrup by boiling caster sugar with 2 tablespoons of water for a minute or two in a small saucepan over high heat. Brush glaze over baked buns as soon as you slide them out of the tray onto a cooling rack. Enjoy warm.|