It would be poor form to let Easter come and go without tucking into a few sweet spiced buns studded with dried fruit. Shop-bought hot cross buns can be hit and miss unless a decent sum of dosh is exchanged for a small six-pack. Yet making your own can chew up a goodly part of the holiday break - and that eats into precious time that should be dedicated to yumming up other Easter treats.
Cake Girl has found a pretty good compromise in a Ruth Pretty Easter Bread recipe that delivers homemade buns without kneading, just one rise (cunningly done in the oven) and ready to enjoy in under two hours. The other bonus is they stay fresh for a couple of days, freeze well and toast up beautifully. Sold?
Cake Girl even made a batch sans cinnamon due to a pantry oversight and the buns were still delicious. Less successful was leaving the dough to rise overnight in the fridge as the extra time resulted in the buns coalescing to form one giant Easter bun.
In a large bowl, dissolve 2 tsp honey in 3/4 cup boiling water, then stir in 1 cup cold water. Sprinkle over 4 tsp dried yeast and leave for 10-15 mins until foamy. Turn oven on to 80 degrees C. Give the mixture a stir then add 100g each of sultanas, currants and mixed peel, along with 3 tsp cinnamon, 2 tsp mixed spice, 1 tsp salt and 450g high-grade (strong) flour.
Mix until well combined (makes a very sticky, wet dough - this is normal). Line a 25cm square cake tin with baking paper and spoon into it 9 even-sized blobs of dough.
Put in the oven for 20 mins or until dough doubles in size. Then, leaving the tin in the oven, increase the temp to 200 degrees C and bake the buns for 40 minutes. If they start to darken towards the end of baking, cover with tin foil. Buns are cooked if they sound hollow when tapped. Remove from tin and let cool for 15 mins before munching.