Easter eggs start arriving in our house about 2 weeks before Easter weekend. Eggs of all manner of commercial chocolate are teetering on shelves, safe from the tiny prying hands of my daughter. Unfortunately, the eggs aren't far enough away from my wife's hands and the 2 eggs that the Easter bunny had brought for her have already been snaffled. Can you believe that?
This morning I promised Cerys that we would make some hot cross buns, so it was an early start in the kitchen. I wanted to do a little twist in the buns, something that would take them onto a different level. Cerys' suggestion of everything from potato to cat food were laughed at then rejected, until she mentioned one thing that would do the trick - an Easter egg! And there, wobbling above our heads was half an Easter egg that had been pathetically wrapped back up in that way that tries to make it look as though it had not been opened. My wife has a lot to answer for.
Anyway, into our annual hot cross bun recipe went a roughly chopped Easter egg and the finely grated zest of an orange. The smell alone when baking was enough to drive you mad with hunger. And the little chef and I indulged in a 'test' bun to check that they would be suitable for breakfast tomorrow morning. Does the Easter thief deserve one? I'll leave that up to you, the jury is well and truly out. Happy Easter everybody x
Chocolate and Orange Hot Cross Buns
1 tbsp dried yeast
1 tbsp honey
200ml warm water
500g plain flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp mixed spice
Zest of one orange, finely grated
Half an Easter egg, roughly chopped
2 tbsp honey
25g melted butter
100ml warm milk
1 - Mix together the yeast, honey and water and leave for 5-10 minutes in a warm place until it forms a froth and starts to smell.
2 - Sieve the flour into a large mixing bowl. Stir in the salt, spice, sultanas, orange zest and chocolate egg.
3 - Pour in the yeast mixture and stir with a wooden spoon. Mix the egg in with the milk and pour in along with the melted butter and honey, mixing thoroughly. You may need a little more milk. Mix until it comes together into a dough.
4 - Tip onto a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes until a hand indentation pressed into the surface springs back straight away.
5 - Put back into the bowl, cover and leave in a warm place for an hour or so until it has doubled in size. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees C, GM6.
6 - When doubled in size, lightly knead again to get rid of the air. Roll out into a sausage and cut off 10-12 portions. Roll these into balls and place onto a greased and floured baking tray. Cut crosses into the top with a sharp knife then cover again and leave until they double in size again.
7 - Place into a high oven and bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown and make a hollow sound when tapped. Mix a little sugar and water together over heat and brush onto the top to make a sugar glaze.