Apricot and Chocolate Chip Easter Buns

Makes: 16 Ready in: 11/2 hours

The “hands-on” time for homemade bread is only around 15-20 min but it does need time to rise, so allow a minimum 1 ½ hours, longer if it’s a cold day.

Ingredients

FOR THE DOUGH

  • 4 cups plain flour
  • ¼ cup caster sugar
  • 60g butter, soft
  • 2 sachets instant yeast
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • zest of an orange
  • 180g dried apricots, chopped
  • ¾ cup dark chocolate chips or chunks, chilled in the freezer
  • 1 ¼ cups milk, warmed
  • 1 egg


FOR THE CROSSES

  • ½ cup plain flour
  • 2 tsp caster sugar
  • 1/3 cup water, approximately


FOR THE GLAZE
1 tbsp caster sugar
1 tsp gelatine
1 tbsp water

Method

Combine the flour, caster sugar and butter in a bowl or processor and rub or pulse until the butter forms fine crumbs. Add the instant yeast, spices, dried apricots and zest and mix.

Combine the egg and warm milk and add to the mixture. Stir or pulse to form a dough then knead on a floured bench or with a dough blade until smooth, elastic and springy – around 5 minutes.

Place the dough into a clean greased bowl and cover with cling film. Leave in a warm place to rise for around 45 minutes or until doubled in size. Alternatively microwave on LOW for 1 minute, rest the dough for 10 minutes then repeat on LOW for another 1 minute with 10 minute rest until doubled. While the dough is rising grease a 23cm square slab tin or cake pan.

Turn the dough out and knead in the chilled chocolate chips in batches. Divide the dough into 16 even sized portions approximately 75-85g each. Roll into smooth balls and arrange in the pan; cover. Stand in a warm place for 10 minutes or until buns have risen to top of pan.

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Make the crosses. Combine flour and sugar in a cup, gradually blend in enough of the water to form a smooth firm paste. place in a piping bag fitted with a small plain nozzle, pipe crosses onto buns.

Bake buns about 20 minutes. Turn buns top side up onto a wire rack. Make glaze; brush hot buns with hot glaze. Cool on wire rack.

Glaze: Stir ingredients in a small saucepan over heat, without boiling until sugar and gelatine are dissolved.

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