Easter is just around the corner and as usual I will bake this traditional bread for the Holy Week. Each year it will be a bit different. I will add a little bit of this and a little bit of that to the recipe. I like adding some dried fruits of any kind to it. I don’t really like spices in my sweet bread so I just added some orange and lemon zest to it.
This year I glaze it with some syrup and pipe the cross on with some sugar icing. I just love these buns; they are soft, sweet and go really well with your morning tea or coffee.
Ingredients for the Buns:
1 packet (7 grams) dried yeast
1 ½ cups milk – lukewarm (about 110 degree F)
3 ½ - 4 cups flour
¼ cup sugar
½ tsp salt
5 tbsp butter – room temperature
2 tsp orange zest
1 tsp lemon zest
1 cup dried cranberry – soaked with 3 tbsp of brandy/rum or orange juice overnight
1 egg – beaten for egg wash
1. In a small bowl combine the lukewarm milk, sugar and yeast. Stir and let it rest for about 10 minutes to 15 or until the yeast activates, you will notice bubbles forming.
2. In the bowl of your mixer add 3 1/2 cups of flour, salt and zest. Mix until combined.
3. Add the egg to the yeast mixture and stir. Pour the yeast mixture into the flour, and using the dough hook attachment mix for about 5 minutes. Add cranberries, soft butter and continue mixing for another minute. If the dough is too wet add more flour as needed. The dough should be quite soft and elastic. You will know when it’s done when it doesn’t stick to the sides of the bowl anymore.
4. Oil a large bowl and place the dough in the bowl, rolling it around so that it gets oil all over, this way it won’t get dry. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise for a few hours until doubled in size.
5. Preheat oven to 375 degree F. Oil a rectangle baking pan or any pan of your choice.
6. Turn the dough out to work surface. Cut the dough into 12 equal pieces and roll each one. Place the rolls in the pan and cover with a clean damp towel and let them rest for another hour or until doubled in size.
7. Brush the buns with beaten egg. Bake the buns for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and brush with sugar syrup immediately
8. Set it aside to cool completely, pipe the icing oven the buns to form a cross.
For syrup glaze:
¼ cup water
¼ cup sugar
While baking makes the syrup by mixing the sugar with the water in a sauce pan and bring to a boil over low heat. Continue boiling for another minute or until syrup thickens a bit. Set aside.
½ cup icing sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
Mix it well and if it is too runny add a little bit more icing sugar. Put it into piping bag to use.