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Hot cross buns
Who needs Easter lilies when we have Poui blooms! The country is awash with the resplendent flowers of these magnificent beauties. I am constantly being shocked by the voluptuous blooms that bombard my view while driving. Even against the backdrop of a startlingly grey sky these cotton candy coloured delicate Poui flowers make a perfect contrast, are a sight for sore eyes, and yes they are the perfect shade of Easter pink.
You can use your electric mixer for this recipe but the directions are for making by hand.
1 tbspp active dry yeast
11/4 cups lukewarm milk
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 egg yolk
4 to 41/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup mixed peel, (optional)
1 egg white, slightly beaten
1 tbsp water
In a large bowl combine yeast with milk, sugar, butter, salt, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, egg, egg yolk and 2 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in raisins and mixed peel add enough flour to make the dough easy to handle.
Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about five minutes.
Place in a greased bowl turn greased side up. Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 11/2 hours.
Punch down dough, divide into four equal parts. Cut each part into six equal pieces.
Shape each piece into a ball, place about two inches apart on a baking sheet.
With a scissors, snip a cross on top of each ball.
Cover and let rise until doubled in size, about 40 mins.
Preheat oven to 375F.
Mix egg white with one tablespoon water, brush top of buns with egg white mixture.
Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.
Frost crosses on buns with powdered sugar frosting.
Makes 24 rolls
POWDERED SUGAR FROSTING
1 cup icing sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
Mix sugar with lemon juice and zest until smooth.
Add a little more water if needed 1/2 tsp at a time.
EASTER DAISY RING
31/2-4 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp yeast
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup butter
2 tbsp sugar
For the filling
1 cup assorted dried fruit
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp melted butter
Place all the dry ingredients into a bowl, add the yeast and stir, warm milk with butter to 115 to 120F and add eggs to milk and beat.
Add this mixture to the flour mixture and knead to a soft dough.
Turn onto a floured surface and knead for a few minutes more adding more flour only if necessary, dough should be smooth.
Cover and let rise until doubled in volume, 45 to 60 minutes.
Combine fruit with sugar and cinnamon, set aside.
Punch down dough and roll out to a 14-inch circle.
Place a drinking glass in the center of the dough circle.
With a knife divide the dough into four cutting only until the glass. Then divide each section into five pieces, you will have 20 pieces.
Brush every other piece of dough with melted butter and sprinkle with dried fruit.
Rope or twist two pieces of dough together, pinch ends and coil towards the center, continue for the other pieces. You will have ten coils.
Remove the glass, cut one coil from dough and place in center.
Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 to 40 mins.
Bake preheated 375F for about 20 to 25 minutes.
Remove and cool.
Drizzle with powdered sugar frosting.
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