Being Easter it is only fitting that I whip up some sort of Easter treat. I feel like the Easter bunny has got all thing chocolate related covered so I thought I would stick with something more traditional like hot cross buns! Though I figured I’d try something a little different to the classic hot cross bun and add my own twist to these delicious Easter treats.
The end result captured the classic hot cross bun flavour rolled up into a loaf filled with swirls of sugar and spice. Personally I don’t think it can get any better.
Hot Cross Bun Loaf
(Makes 2 loaves of delicious goodness!)
For the dough:
- 4 Tbs. unsalted butter
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1⁄4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3⁄4 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1⁄8 tsp. ground allspice
- 1⁄8 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup sultanas
- 1 Tbs. finely grated orange zest
For the filling:
- 4 Tbs. unsalted butter, softened
- 2⁄3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1 Tbs. ground cinnamon
- 1 egg white, beaten with a little warm water (for egg wash)
For the glaze (optional):
- 1⁄2 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. whole milk
Melt the butter in a small saucepan, over a low heat. Once melted stir in the milk and granulated sugar, and warm to 40°C. Pour into a large bowl and sprinkle the yeast on top. Let stand for 10 minutes. In another bowl, whisk together dry ingredients including flour, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and salt. Add dry ingredients to the yeast mixture along with the eggs, sultanas, and orange zest.
Now if you are lucky enough to have a kitchen aid or something similar then attach the dough hook and knead the dough on a medium-low speed for about 10 minutes. If on the other hand you are like me and don’t have the luxury of a kitchen aid then pull out your trusty wooden spoon and start mixing. Do so until ingredients have combined and formed a sticky dough, then scrape the dough onto a lightly flowered bench top and knead until dough is smooth (despite the sultanas of course haha). Roll the dough into a ball and place in a large bowel, cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 1 & 1/2 hours, until doubled in size.
Meanwhile, make the filling by mixing together the softened butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl.
Line two 9-by-5-inch loaf tins with baking paper. Place the dough onto a lightly floured bench top and divide the dough in half. Roll each half into roughly an 8 & 1⁄2-inch square. Spread each square with half of the filling then roll up the dough and pinch the seam to seal. Place the roll, seam side down, into the prepared pan and leave to rise for another 1 & 1/2 hours.
Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 175°C. Brush the loaves with the egg wash. Bake for 35 minutes or until the loaves are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped. Turn out onto racks and let cool completely.
To make the glaze stir together the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, and milk. Place glaze into a piping bag and drizzle the glaze over the tops of the cooled loaves before cutting into thick, yummy slices.
I don’t know what Easter means to you, perhaps it’s simply a long weekend spent with loved ones, maybe it’s your annual family camping trip, or a good excuse to indulge in copious amounts of chocolate. For me it is all of the above but most importantly it’s the time of the year where I celebrate JESUS and the incredible sacrifice he made for each and everyone of us past, present and future. I am thankful for the Grace that Jesus displayed on the cross that I did not deserve yet it changed everything. I am thankful for Hope, the hope that Jesus brought to the world in that very moment that gives me the courage to conquer what life throws my way. Above all I am thankful for JESUS!
Happy Easter everyone! Hope you’ve all enjoyed a lovely long weekend spent with you’re loved ones indulging in copious amounts of chocolate. xxx