Hot cross honey bunnies.

Who doesn't love a hot cross bun toasted and dripping in butter?

These soft tender easter buns are enriched and glazed with honey and look as cute as a button with their little bunny ears, the kids are going to love them!

This recipe (although therapeutically time consuming) is perfectly easy to follow so even novice bakers can give it a go.

Follow my step by step recipe for perfect easter bunnies.


Here's how.........



Ingredients

500g strong white bread flour

300 ml lukewarm whole milk

8g fast action dried yeast

1 large beaten egg

6g fine table salt

50g butter

50g soft brown sugar

4 tbsp runny honey (+1 tbsp extra for glazing)

50g mixed candied peel

50g sultanas

zest of 1 orange

zest of 1 lemon

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1/2 grated nutmeg

70g plain flour mixed to a paste with water to pipe crosses.

a few tbsp of sunflower oil to oil bowl, cling film and worktop.



Method

1. warm milk with butter, sugar and honey until butter is melted. Allow to cool until it is body temperature, then whisk in the egg.


2. Add flour, yeast and salt to a large bowl I use a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook but you can do this by hand.


3. Tip milky eggy mixture into the bowl with the flour and mix well using a clawing action.


4. Turn out dough onto a lightly oiled surface and knead for 10 minutes.


5. Oil a roomy bowl to stop the dough sticking and cover in oiled cling film. Place in a cosy spot to rise for an hour and a half, or until doubled in size.


6. Turn risen dough out again onto the work top and flatten into a pizza disc shape.

sprinkle with sultanas, zest of orange and lemon, all spices and candied peel and fold the dough continuously in on itself until the fruit and spices are thoroughly distributed within the dough.


7. Return the dough to the oiled bowl and allow to rise again for a further 80 minutes in a cosy spot.


8. Turn out the twice risen dough and shape into a sausage. cut 10-12 portions of dough from the sausage and roll each into a ball.



9. Now pinch the top 1/3 so you have a snow man shape.


10. Using a sharp pair of scissors snip through the centre of the snowman head and separate slightly to allow for rise. This forms the ear shape.




11.Place your bunny heads well spaced on baking parchment on large baking trays (i used 2) cover loosely in oiled cling film and place back in a cosy spot to rise for a third and final rise for 80 minutes.




12. When your bunnies are risen and puffy preheat the oven to 220c.

Now mix plain flour with a few tbsp of cold water to form a pipeable paste.

If you don't have a piping bag just place in a sandwich bag and snip off a small triangle from the bottom corner.


13. pipe crosses on the bunnies bodies and place in your preheated oven (220c) for 20 minutes or until they are golden brown and feel hollow when the base is tapped.


14. remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack, brush the tops of the buns with honey while they are still warm.





Enjoy slathered in a good quality butter.





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