Home made raisin toast and Easter hangovers

Anyone else feeling the effects of Easter still? I know I am! All of that chocolate and merriment! Easter at my house is jam packed with so many people, so much food, and lots of laughs with the kiddy Easter egg hunt that Easter Monday has a hard act to follow. To counter the blues that set in when you realise that Easter is over, and you no longer have an excuse to eat your body weight in chocolate, I recommend straight up denial.

Denial in the form of chocolate spiked raisin bread!

Hot cross bun bread (13 of 18)

It’s basically a giant hot cross bun that you can eat warm out of the oven, cold with a smattering of jam, or piping hot, straight from the toaster and smothered in butter.

Not only is this bread the perfect way to relive Easter at any time of the year, it’s also a great way to use up the Easter eggs that you may have hanging around the house. I don’t know about you, but after Sunday I seem to have about three tonnes of them in various bowls around the house!

How was your Easter? Do you have a tradition of Easter egg hunting like my family does?

 

Home made raisin toast / hot cross bun bread

  • 2 teaspoons instant dried yeast
  • 1 ½ cups warm water
  • 3 1/4 cups plain flour
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • ½ tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 150g milk chocolate easter eggs
  • 1/3 cup sultanas
  • 1 tbsp milk

Vanilla bean butter

  • 160g butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar

Pour your warm water and yeast into a cup and set to one side for the yeast to do it’s thing for ten minutes.

While the yeast is set aside, sift your sugar into a bowl. Mix in the white sugar, followed by the allspice and cinnamon.

Hot cross bun bread (1 of 18)

Make a well in the centre and mix in your yeast. Pour in your water, about ¼ cup at a time until you’ve used it all and have a cohesive ball of dough.

Hot cross bun bread (2 of 18)

If you’re using a stand mixer, mix on a medium speed for 3-4 minutes. If you’re hand-kneading, do it for about 10 minutes.

Lightly oil your bowl and set the dough back in it, cover the bowl in cling wrap and set to in a warm spot to rise for one hour. For those of you who don’t know, sausage dogs prosper in the heat just as much as rising bread does. Try to keep sausages and dough separate.

Hot cross bun bread (3 of 18)

When your dough has more than doubled in size, lightly flour a surface and scoop your dough out onto it. Put half of your chocolate and sultanas into the middle of the dough and fold the dough in on itself a few times. Put the rest of the chocolate and sultanas in the dough and knead until the chocolate and sultanas are evenly distributed throughout.

Hot cross bun bread (4 of 18)

Pop into your bread tin and set in a warm place to rise again for 15 minutes.

Hot cross bun bread (7 of 18)

Preheat your oven to 180°C. Brush your bread with the milk, then pop your bread in the oven for 10 minutes.

Hot cross bun bread (8 of 18)

Reduce the temperature to 170°C and continue baking for 25-30 minutes. Remove from the oven when the top of the loaf is nicely browned and it makes a hollow sound when you knock the top of it.

Hot cross bun bread (9 of 18)

 

This bread is great served with regular butter, but I recommend whipping up some vanilla bean butter for an extra tasty slice. Allow your butter to come to room temperature and quickly mix in the sugar and vanilla. I use regular, salted butter as it adds a nice little edge to the otherwise sweet spread. Enjoy fresh from the oven, cooled, or toasted – whichever way you serve it, this bread is scrumptious!

Hot cross bun bread (18 of 18)

Hot cross bun bread (5 of 18)

Hot cross bun bread (16 of 18)

Hot cross bun bread (12 of 18)

Hot cross bun bread (15 of 18)

Planning on making this recipe? Tag me on Instagram and use #bakingwithgab so I can see your wonderful creations!

Mini egg Easter doughnuts and a healthy Easter

mini egg doughnuts (14 of 14)
I told people who lingered over the plate of these delights that they were healthy doughnuts – there’s yoghurt in them and they’re baked! Most people laughed at me, so I explained that they’re healthy-ish…healthier than a regular fried doughnut, anyway.

They’re kind of like a little cake doughnut, which you’ll know I’m a fan of if you’ve seen my earl grey or Nutella doughnuts.
I like the idea that you can eat seconds because they’re a tiny bit better for you. I stress teeny tiny. Did I mention that I’ve started a little health kick?

Easter cupcakes and less than

groupI love these little cupcakes. So much. The icing is one of my favourite icings ever. It’s cream cheese and chocolate – it’s so delicious that it should almost be illegal. Part of what I love about the cupcakes is that they’re not quite perfect. The batter is simple and not too sweet, the icing is delicious, but lends itself to a more rustic look. They’re a little bit less-than-perfect…and that’s completely fine. As someone who is constantly striving to achieve perfection, sometimes I need to take a step back and remind myself that being “less than” is not always a bad thing. Perfect isn’t always fun.

Easter bunny buns and kid-friendly recipes

aboveI think it’s well-established that I love Easter. I love Easter egg hunts, I adore chocolate, and I love the way that it brings family together. I’ve spoken before about how food and love are almost synonymous terms to me; I’ve grown up in a family who love long lunches, big dinners, epic desserts, and everything in between.  

Marshmallow bunnies and Easter excitement

huddleGuys. I’m so excited about Easter. I ate a Crème Egg last night and I can’t contain the excitement any longer. As soon as I cave and eat an Easter egg, I can’t help but get excited. The Easter flood gates have officially opened!

This year’s Easter is going to be quieter than years gone by; we don’t have much planned. My cousins usually bring their kids over, which results in much cuteness (see instagram for exhibit A)

Earl grey truffles and indulgences

plateChocolate is something that I don’t often buy for myself. I buy baking chocolate lots, but given the amount of baking that I do, I try to avoid chocolate bars. I’m not always successful, but I try.

So when I get cravings for, I try to get creative and make them a little indulgent. This is how these amazing little morsels came about. They’re teeny tiny, so you can eat 20 of them before you have to worry about stopping! (I may have exaggerated slightly, maybe don’t eat 20…)

Crabapple crumble pie and the long weekend

samThe Easter long weekend was delightful –  I over-ate, explored some amazing woods, gained two sausage dog friends briefly, and experimented with recipes.

The over-eating was partly the fault of the Easter bunny, who is super generous every year. The rest of the over-eating was simply because I was in great company, and there is no better way to bring people together than a meal.

Egg hunts and ten essential Easter recipes

Easter is a fantastic time of the year. No matter how much a person may dislike religious celebrations or the hype that supermarkets create months beforehand, nobody can argue with days off and an excuse to eat life-endangering amounts of chocolate.

trowelI don’t think I could possibly rate my favourite holiday (I don’t discriminate, I love them all), but Easter is pretty great. Every year, regardless of location or participants, my family holds an Easter egg hunt. It started when my brothers and I were little – we would go to our cousins’ farm in Orange and the Easter bunny would visit in the night. Easter morning, all the kids would wake up bright and early, line up and wait for permission to begin the race, much to the delight of the adults.

jackMy cousins’ farm was the best place for the Easter bunny to secret away little chocolate Easter eggs; there were gnarled tree branches, lavender bushes, paving stones, fence posts and garden beds. We spent every Easter at the farm pretty much from when I was born until I was about 18.

chicksClearly the tradition continued way past our youth, because nobody wanted to give it up.

In recent years, we’ve not been able to go to the farm, so we’ve started an Easter egg hunt in Sydney. Now, thankfully, there is a new generation of kids who can partake in the Easter egg hunt, and while I’m slightly jealous of them for being able to join in the hunt, I love their enthusiasm and wild-eyed bemusement at seeing that Easter eggs have been delivered, and scattered throughout the garden by the Easter bunny.

Last year’s Easter was adorable (I spammed my Instagram followers with all of the cuteness), I can only assume that this year’s Easter, which is going to be at the farm again, will be equally as cute.

If you’re not excited about Easter yet, maybe I can entice you with some delicious Easter-appropriate recipes.

Simple Sunday cinnamon scrolls

scrolls

Easter pavlova

above

Vanilla fig tarts

close

Honey jumbles

close

Caramel egg browniesbite

Citrus hot cross buns

cross

Traditional hot cross bunstear


Nutella raspberry puffs

mess

 Crème eggs

egg

Chocolate blueberry friands

scene

 

Happy baking, and happy Easter!!

Easter pavlova and holiday spirit

aboveThere is something about holidays that brings out the best in people. Last week I came home from a busy day at my new job to find a beautiful gift wrapped in brown paper from a beautiful friend. Buying Easter eggs for this pavlova, I had a laugh with a woman and her children about which eggs were the most delicious. Setting up the photo shoot for the cake, I was heaped with praise and kind words from friends and family who were visiting.

There is something that changes as holidays approach. People in traffic seem nicer, strangers smile more readily, grumpy neighbours laugh more easily. I just adore holidays.