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Posts tagged ‘easter buns’

Apple & Ginger Brioche Scrolls


The combination of ginger and apple has been banging around my head for a few weeks and finally this weekend I managed to satisfy my imagination and tummy at the same time making these brioche style rolls. I have used quite a bit of ginger in this recipe as I like to the hot bite of ginger but if you prefer it a bit milder then used less.

I can be quite impatient waiting for bread dough to rise, a bit like the watch pot never boils but as I had finished rolling these up and putting them in the muffin tins my surfing buddy called. It was like Malibu surf out at Muriwai, for those not familiar with Muriwai that means a drop in waves from a regular 5-7 foot to a mini 2 foot, perfect for a lazy Sunday surf after a busy week at the office and a wedding catered for on Saturday. So no pot watching…well dough watching today, the dough had risen perfectly by the time I came out of the surf, in the oven and ready to eat after a shower, maybe even two after all that exercise. Then enough time to fit a siesta in before getting dinner on.

Ingredients-makes 8
3 cups high grade flour
2 tsp dried yeast grains
1/2 cup warm milk
50g butter, soft
2 small eggs
3 tbsp castor sugar
1 apple, cored and grated
2 tbsp brown sugar
3 tsp ginger powder
2tbsp sugar & 2tbsp water for the sugar glaze

Preheat oven at 180C and cut 8 squares of baking paper to fit 8 muffin tins.
Place the flour and castor sugar in a bowl and make a well in the middle.
Put the yeast into the well and pour the warm milk over the yeast and leave to dissolve for a 2 minutes. It will start to bubble.
Stir the milk into the flour, it will be quite dry at this stage.
Add the butter and eggs and bring the ingredients together to form a bread like dough. If it is too sticky (depends on egg size) add more flour so you can knead the dough without it sticking to your hands.
Knead for 5-8 minutes, the longer you knead the better.
Put the dough back in the bowl and cover with a plastic bag to stop dough from drying out. Rest for 10 minutes.
While the dough is resting, place the grated apple into a bowl with the brown sugar and ginger and mix together.
Roll the dough out to 12 inch x 8 inch with the longer side closest to you.
Spread the apple and ginger mix over the dough.
Roll the dough up, away from you, into a sausage shape so that once rolled it still measure 12 inch.
Slice the dough into 8 rings and place each one in the middle of a square of baking paper. Put each one into a muffin tin/cup and allow dough to prove and double in size.
Bake for 25 minutes, until golden brown.
Remove from the oven and set aside.
Put the sugar and water for the glaze in a pan and bring to the boil for 1 minute.
Brush brioche rolls with sugar glaze and its best to eat them warm.

Diesel is a little exhausted after all the baking and surfing too!


Easter Hot Cross Buns

This weeks cooking class was bread making and since Easter is just around the corner I thought hot cross buns would be appropriate. In addition to the hot cross buns we also made a Sicilian style Focaccia bread which is more like a poolish dough and was taught to me by the lovely ladies at Al Dente and I will post that also in the next few days.

I love making bread dough by hand, I just couldn’t imagine using a bread maker or a dough mixer, there is something very satisfying and personal about creating bread that you don’t get when using machines to produce it. Or is it maybe I am a gluten for punishment, watching the clock tick away the minutes I have been kneading? But with a class group the ten minutes for kneading just flew by as we all chatted and shared our latest news.

I used Peter Reinharts cinnamon bun dough for this recipe which I made my Chelsea Buns from and just added the fruit and spice into the mixture.


These can be easily adapted to suit vegan’s by using a vegan margarine (I use Olivani) and water instead of milk.

  • 100g castor sugar
  • 80g butter
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 450g high grade flour
  • 2 tsp instant yeast
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 cup warm milk (approx)
  • 100g fruit (mixed, sultanas or raisins)
  • Cross Paste (2 tbsp flour & 4 tbsp water)
  • Sugar glaze (2 tbsp sugar & 1 tbsp water heated gently to dissolve)


  • Heat oven to 180C and line a baking sheet with parchment.
  • Beat sugar and butter together.
  • Add egg and vanilla extract.
  • Add the flour, spice, yeast, fruit, salt and milk and bring together to form a tacky but not wet bread like dough. Adjust with additional flour or milk if not right.
  • Knead dough for 10 minutes and then allow to rest in a warm place till double in size. Spray with oil and cover bowl with a plastic bag.
  • Divide the dough into 9-12 pieces and shape into buns.
  • Place dough buns ½ inch apart so when they swell they will join. Cover again with a plastic bag and prove until double in size.
  • Meanwhile, for the topping, mix the plain flour & water to a smooth paste that you can pipe.
  • Spoon the paste mixture into a piping bag and pipe a cross on each bun.
  • Bake for 15-25 minutes depending on size of bun, or until pale golden-brown.
  • As soon as you remove the buns from the oven, brush them with the hot sugar glaze, or warmed syrup, then set aside to cool on a wire rack.

Easter Chelsea Buns

We seem to be racing towards Easter and I haven’t even thought about making any Easter treats yet, rather unusual for me since more chocolate and spiced fruit breads are consumed at Easter than any other time of the year, although I would to have to exclude myself from that survey. My chocolate  consumption doesn’t alter at all at this time of year and I will let you read into that what you will!

Sunday morning I woke up and thought of hot cross buns but as I began to make them I decided to change them to Chelsea buns. I love hot cross buns but Chelsea buns are so much more fun peeling the dough away to reveal the raisins and cinnamon inside. It is something I haven’t eaten in years, probably since I lived in the UK so it is almost 20 years ago. You can buy something similar here but they aren’t quite the same, or is that because my memory of them shines brighter the older I become? I often wonder about this. But as they came out of the oven and I sugar glazed them while hot they were every bit as delicious as I remember them, in fact better as I had used Peter Reinhart’s recipe which contains butter in the dough and I don’t think the original ones I made did.

So if you have a few hours to spare (two) on a Sunday morning they are worth the effort.

Ingredients – makes 12

  • 3.25 oz sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2.75 oz butter, soft
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 16 oz bread flour
  • 2 tsp yeast
  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 1/2 cup cinnamon sugar (3 tbsp sugar to 1 tbsp cinnamon)
  • Large handful of raisins


  1. Heat oven to 180C and line a baking sheet with parchment.
  2. beat sugar and butter together.
  3. Add egg and vanilla extract.
  4. Add the flour, yeast and milk and bring together to form a tacky but not wet bread like dough.
  5. Knead dough for 10 minutes and then allow to rest in a warm place till double in size.
  6. Roll the dough out into a rectangle about 2/3 inch thick, 14 inches by 12 inches.
  7. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar and raisins to cover the dough and roll.
  8. With seam side down slice the dough into 1 inch thick buns and place 1/2 apart on the baking tray.
  9. Lightly spray with oil and cover with food grade plastic bag.
  10. Allow to prove till double in size and the buns are now touching each other.
  11. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown
  12. Mix some icing sugar with some lemon juice to make a runny icing and glaze buns while still warm.
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