The Easter weekend is nearly upon us if the creme egg cupcakes weren't your thing and you prefer something more traditional this is a great option. It is the idea of a hot cross bun but in a plaited loaf, this makes the mix serve more people as it is sliced and it also makes it a lot easier to put in the toaster, if that's how you like it. It's the way it's done in my family along with copious amounts of butter and maybe some extra apricot jam!
For one loaf you will need:
500g strong white flour,
300ml whole milk,
75g caster sugar,
Pinch of salt,
Yeast sachet or 7g dried yeast,
50g salted butter,
1 orange zested and juiced.
2 tsp ground cinnamon,
2 big spoons of apricot jam for the glaze,
Flour for kneading the bread on a surface.
Begin by bringing the milk to the boil. While doing this weigh out the dry ingredients.
Once the milk has boiled leave to one side so it is warm when you need to use it.
Add the egg beaten.
And then the butter cubed and softened.
Mix this together roughly. Then begin to add the milk. Add the milk in 3 stages.
The dough should be very wet and be starting to come together.
Add the orange juice and the zest. Then add the sultanas and the cinnamon.
Tip the dough onto a floured surface and knead until it forms a more uniformed dough. This will take 5ish minutes.
Place the dough in a bowl. Place cling film over it or like the fabulous baker brothers do, and now I do, use a shower cap that you nabbed from a hotel.
Leave somewhere warm for an hour.
By then the dough will have doubled in size.
Tip it out onto a floured surface knead again for about 5 minutes.
Get a large baking tray. Cover the baking tray with baking paper. Tack it to the tray using some leftover butter.
Shape the dough into a long shape so you can divide it into three.
Roll these out into three long sausages about a normal sausage in thickness. Then plait these and place on a baking tray.
Once on the tray you can tuck the ends of the plait and bunch the plait together a bit to make it more of a chunky loaf. Leave somewhere warm for 45 mins and then put in the oven for 20 minutes at 200.
Once out of the oven place on a cooling tray while you make the glaze.
Put a couple of big spoonfuls of jam into a microwaveable bowl or jug and place in the microwave for about 30 seconds. Maybe another 15 seconds after that if it needs it.
Then sieve the jam to remove any lumps.
Use a pastry brush and brush the jam onto the loaf.
It makes the loaf look amazing as well as making it deliciously sticky.
And that is that. The taste of hot cross buns in a loaf. Great for Easter weekend mornings or with a cup of tea in the afternoon.
If there are leftovers you could make a bread and butter pudding out of the leftover slices.