Plaited Easter Buns

Preparation time: 1 hour
Cooking time: 30 minutes

800g strong white bread flour
200g white seeded flour
2 teaspoons quick action yeast
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons sugar
400ml water
150ml milk
2 eggs – beaten
A handful of sultanas
A dash of mixed spice
For the glaze:
Golden syrup or honey
A teaspoon or two of coloured sprinkles

Featured in:
April 2015

It seems there are many traditions around the world of celebrating Easter with some form of sweet bread.

From the humble hot cross bun, with its dough cross on top, to the twisted and braided Italian Easter bread complete with coloured eggs nestled in its rings, it seems that symbolism finds its way into food for the holiest of festivals.

This is my take on a sweet, eggy fruit bread for the festivities. It has the lightness of a brioche or panettone but has a more cakey quality from the eggs and sugar. It’s also perfectly pretty for the Easter table.

Enough for one large plaited bun and two smaller buns – using the low-knead method.

Throw all the bread ingredients into a very large bowl, bring together with a rubber spatula, cover with a tea towel and set aside for ten minutes whilst you make a cup of tea.

Oil your work surface, remove the sticky dough from the bowl, oil the bowl and wipe it with your hand. Then with your oily hand, knead the dough eight times, place the dough back in the bowl, cover with a tea towel and set aside for 10 minutes.

Repeat twice more then cover the bowl with cling film and set aside for an hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 200C and prep two baking trays with parchment paper.Oil your work surface and knead the dough, punching it hard and folding it over a few times, then divide in two, and set one piece aside.

Divide one piece of dough into two and roll into sausage shapes. Twist the two lengths of dough together and create a ring – set aside on a baking tray.

With the second piece of dough, divide into four and make two smaller rings and place on another baking tray.

Bake on 200C for 10 mins then reduce the heat to 180 for a further 20 mins, then remove from the oven and lay on a wire rack to cool.

Gently warm a little golden syrup or honey, then brush onto the bread whilst the loaves are still warm. Shower with multi-coloured sprinkles.

Eat and of course, enjoy!

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