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!

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.  

Fruit bruschetta and Christmas recipes

platesI love Christmas. I can’t even wait until December to start posting recipes, I cannot contain myself!! A few weeks ago I was sent some bunting by Louise at Illume Designs, and I have been wriggling with excitement about Christmas ever since! I’ll use anything as an excuse to put up bunting, but metallic chevron bunting just seems so festive and Christmas appropriate!

So I’ve spent the past few weeks brainstorming Christmas recipes. And Pinterest has not been short of inspiration.

Pretzels and new things

tearI have a confession to make. I don’t like pretzels. Those little salt-laden little knots that always make their way onto dip platters. I just can’t stand them. They’re too salty and brittle – they dry out my mouth with such speed that it creeps me out.

I know, I’m sorry. But in the interest of full disclosure, I needed to let you know!

So when I set out to make my own, I knew that they weren’t going to be spindly and hard, they were going to be plush, pillowy little tangles of dough. And without too much salt!

These little knots do not disappoint. (I refrained from writing “do knot disappoint,” just fyi.)

Citrus hot cross buns and fickle baking

crossI’m torn. The Sydney weather is trying to rain on my sunny disposition, quite literally. Monday morning the heavens opened and it bucketed down, but by midday there was nothing but stretches of cloudless blue sky.

Autumn is such a fickle season.

As a result, my baking barometer is muddled. Do I bake gorgeous, warming chai fudge, or opt for a zesty lime curd tarts? Should I poach some pears and close off the house to let it fill with warm, peary scents, or fling open the doors and invite the neighbourhood over for some raspberry lemon tray bake?

Cream buns with mock cream and indulgence

bunsIt’s Valentine’s day today and I thought cream buns would be a cute things to post. I’m not really one for pet names, but I think that “my little cream bun” would be a rather adorable term of endearment.

Just me?

Anywho, I recently made these buns for a dear friend of mine (at his request!) and they were such a lovely treat to be able to share. They’re old school indulgence, the kind of thing I can picture my grandparents serving to friends at social events. They’re not showy, but they’re delicious and pretty enough to impress.

Gluten free garlic parmesan pull apart bread and Wintery weather

herbsThe weather in Sydney is consistently wet. It has been six days since I last posted a recipe, and the only excuse I have is the weather! Weather like this makes me want to cook and eat.

And repeat.

Blogging took a back seat while I busied myself baking (and eating) delicious Wintery foods that I thought I’d have to wait until next year to post.

flourI also got the chance to use some gluten free flour I was kindly given by Well & Good. I’d never baked with gluten free flour before (to be honest, I was pretty apprehensive!), but the result was perfect. The bread rose perfectly and crisped nicely. The gluten free flour seems to result in a slightly different tasting bread – not a bad taste, just slightly different to regular flour.

Pear bread and Pinterest

My hunt for pear recipes was inspired by this cuteness, which I found on Pinterest. He is now my lock screen on my phone – he just makes me smile.

pinterest pear

pearMy lock screen did not go unnoticed by The Boy. Despite thinking I was crazy, the boy left me my own little smiley pear. Said smiley pear is now sitting in a display cupboard, I can’t bring myself to eat him.

This recipe was made with his friends though, I’m not sure how to break it to him…

Easy appetiser bread and entertaining

I had friends over on Saturday. We were going to a hen’s night together so I asked them to come over beforehand. I organised some chips and dips and cheeses doneand faffed about getting ready in between locating cheese knives and sourcing plates for (store bought) dips. Everyone thinks chips and dips are easy, but really, they’re fiddly. I have nothing against cheese and biccies (in fact, I quite enjoy them) but there are lots of bowls and knives and plates to clear away afterwards.

Brioche and beginnings

My new mixer (beautiful beast that it is) has prompted much reflection. I debated what to mix in it first. I didn’t want it to be something boring, but I didn’t want to make something really fussy (who does?).Penelope

And so I’ve chosen a recipe that comes highly recommended from a fellow baking enthusiast. This recipe is not mine, but has been tried and tested in mixers that are not my own.

In this recipe I used the bread hook, and it really has me hooked (sorry for the bad pun.) This mixer does all the work for you! I’ve had a food processor before, but the mixer seems much gentler and thorough. I’m not saying everyone should have one – this recipe, as with all the recipes I post, can be done with a bowl, a wooden spoon and a little muscle – the mixer just cuts down on physical exertion…it appeals to my inner sloth.

I’m looking forward to using my KitchenAid for new recipes and old ones too. I have a habit of naming things, I’ll hopefully have come up with a name for the mixer by the next post. I’m thinking Penelope at the moment, but that might have too many syllables…suggestions?

Sort-of-speedy briochecake like

  • 2 1/3 cups plain flour (use bread flour if you’ve got it)
  • 1 sachet instant dry yeast
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 45g butter, softened
  • Egg wash (1 egg and 1tsp of milk)

Don’t preheat the oven yet, you’ve got a while before this deliciousness needs to go into the oven. Combine the flour and yeast. Add
bread hookin your eggs, milk, sugar and salt and mix them to combine. Continue to mix for a further five minutes, adding your butter in slowly. If you’re doing this by hand, make sure your butter is really soft (but not melted!) to make the mixing easier.

Once your butter is incorporated mix the dough for about eight minutes, or until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl. If you’re using a bread hook like I was, this only takes three minutes on a medium setting.

stuck
Grease that paper!

Line a tray with enough baking paper to envelop the dough and grease the paper. I mean it when I say grease the paper, this dough is sticky. I didn’t grease my paper and I regretted it.  Wrap your dough in the baking paper and cover with a tea towel. Put the tray in a nice warm place for 2-3 hours and allow it to get all warm and risen. It should just about double in size.

I put mine in front of the heater (much to Norman’s annoyance), but this was just me being impatient. Ideally you would leave brioche to rise overnight then refrigerate briefly the next morning, ain’t nobody got time for that though.

I waited two and a half hours before I succumbed to the excitement and threw the mixture into a greased loaf tin.

When you’ve pre-heated your oven to 160°C got your dough pressed into the tin, whisk up the egg wash to brush over every corner of the brioche top. Norman loves it when I need an egg wash, because he gets the leftovers.

spottedyum

Bake for 30-35 minutes. Turn on the fan in your oven during the last five minutes if you’re not getting a nice brown top.

bread and pear
sliced pearSlice thickly and enjoy! Brioche is rich and cake-like, but can be eaten at any time of the day and suits sweet or savoury dishes and eaten warm or cold. My sweet tooth got the better of me and I topped mine with pear and chocolate, a failsafe combination.

I’ve got a brioche-based recipe coming up soon, so stay tuned!
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