… so we’re off to Pollenca for the Easter weekend. It’s the first time we’ve been away at Easter for years and i’m quite excited although The Viking is a little worried because on Good Friday in the old town of Pollenca they carry an effigy of the body of Christ from the church at the top of the mountain to the church at the bottom, through the winding streets and of course The Viking, who bares quite a striking resemblance to the son of god is concerned he may be mistakenly carried aloft and shunted through town. I’m just glad to be out of the cold and rain of the UK for a moment and whilst it may not be tropical in Mallorca, it will be sunny and light and not here, which is always a win-win. I think i’ll leave it there as i’ve got a plane to catch but of course I couldn’t leave you without a little Easter treat…
banana and cinnamon hot cross buns
for the buns:
- 300ml full-fat milk
- 50g butter
- 500g strong bread flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 75g caster sugar
- 7g fast-action yeast
- 1 large free-range egg, beaten
- 50g mixed dried fruit
- 50g walnuts – roughly chopped
- 1 very ripe banana – mashed
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 75g flour
- a little water to mix
gently heat the milk and then add the butter and leave to cool slightly. Put the flour, salt, sugar and yeast into a bowl. Make a well in the centre. Pour in the warm milk and butter mixture, then add the egg. Using a wooden spoon, mix well, then bring everything together with your hands until you have a very sticky dough.
flour your hands well and begin to knead the dough in the bowl, then when it’s less tacky tip it out on to a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 mins until smooth and elastic. Put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hr or until doubled in size.
with the dough still in the bowl, tip in the sultanas, walnuts, mashed bananas and cinnamon and knead into the dough, making sure everything is well distributed. Cover with the cling film and leave to rise for 1 hr more.
lightly oil your hands and then divide the dough into 12 even pieces and roll each piece into a smooth ball on a lightly oiled work surface. Arrange the buns on one or two baking trays lined with parchment, leaving enough space for the dough to expand. Drape with oiled cling film, or a clean tea towel, then set aside to prove for 1 hr more.
heat the oven to 200C fan and make the cross paste by mixing the flour with about 5 tbsp water – add the water 1 tbsp at a time, so you add just enough for a thick paste. Either use a steady hand a spoon or a piping bag and pipe a line along each row of buns, then repeat in the other direction to create crosses. Bake for 20 mins on the middle shelf of the oven, until golden brown.
the moment they come out of the oven brush the tops with a little runny honey and set aside to cool
eat and of course, enjoy!