Home-made Easter buns studded with dried fruits are an extra special way to start the day on Easter Friday, either for breakfast or brunch feasting, or for morning tea.
1 tbsp active dry yeast
1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp caster sugar
1 1/2 cups lukewarm milk
4 cups plain flour, sifted
2 tbsp cocoa powder, sifted
2 tbsp mixed spice
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup dried cranberries
50g butter, melted
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup cold water
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
1 tsp gelatine
1 Place yeast, 1 tablespoon of measured sugar and 1/2 cup measured milk in a bowl and leave for 5 minutes until foamy.
2 Combine flour, cocoa, spices, raisins, dried cranberries and remaining sugar in a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Add yeast mixture, remaining milk, melted butter and egg to well. Mix together until a sticky dough forms.
3 On a lightly floured surfaced, knead dough for 5 minutes or until dough feels smooth and elastic. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and stand in a warm place until doubled in size (this will take up to 1 hour).
4 Grease a 20 x 30cm lamington tin and line with nonstick baking paper. Divide dough into 12 equal portions; roll into balls and place in tin in neat rows. Cover and leave in a warm place for 30 minutes to rise.
5 Preheat oven to 200°C. Make crosses by blending flour and water together until smooth. Place in a piping bag and pipe crosses onto buns. Bake 25-30 minutes or until browned and springy to touch.
6 Remove to cool. Brush with warm glaze made by boiling all glaze ingredients together until sugar and gelatine dissolve.
Chef’s tricks: Foaming yeast mixture indicates that the yeast is activated. It is important to leave the dough to rise in a warm place to stimulate the yeast. Cover the bowl of dough with either plastic wrap or a damp, clean tea towel.