A nice pair of buns

TRANSFORM ONE BATCH OF GREEK EASTER BREAD DOUGH into
[1] CHOCOLATE and RAISIN GREEK EASTER BUNS and
[2] MIXED SEED and FRUIT BUNS


Is there a better school holiday activity than a good session of dough kneading? I think not, especially when said dough encases plump raisins and hidden chunks of couverture chocolate!
With eager helping hands available, it makes perfect sense to double up and make two batches of buns; in this case lovely Chocolate and raisin Greek Easter buns, best eaten hot, slathered in butter; and tasty little Mixed seed and fruit buns which can be popped in the freezer, ready for lunchboxes.
This recipe is admittedly time-consuming, and a definite weekend or holiday pursuit, but most of that time is in the resting and proving. We managed to squeeze in a movie during the first rising session (Peabody and Mr. Sherman – loved it, even though it was an absolute violation of the original cartoon)!
The dough is sweet and light, similar to brioche or challah; and is tweaked from last year’s Orange and currant Greek Easter bread, a treat we’ll be enjoying for breakfast this Sunday. For those who celebrate it, have a most eggcellent Easter! xx
PS. The little blue Danish apron with removable bunny is from my childhood. I’m so glad my mum is a hoarder like me!
PS2. Leftover couverture chocolate can be used for home-made Easter eggs. We whipped up a batch yesterday, which I posted on the 1=2 Facebook page this morning. I announce new blog posts, and often share extra bits n’ pieces and fun foodie facts on Facebook, so feel to ‘like’ for updates!

2 batches of buns from 1 batch of dough. Via One Equals TwoEaster buns and seeded buns. One Equals TwoGreek Easter buns with hidden couverture chocolate. One Equals TwoOne batch of dough =
[1]
Chocolate and raisin Greek Easter buns and
[2] Mixed seed and fruit buns

Ingredients (makes 24 buns: 12 Chocolate and raisin Greek Easter buns and 12 Mixed seed and fruit buns):
250 grams (8 oz/2 sticks) butter, melted
1 cup (215g) caster sugar
1½ cups (375ml) warmed milk
4 eggs, lightly beaten
½ teaspoon salt
1½ tablespoons (3 sachets/21g) dried yeast
1.3 kilos (2.8 lb) plain (all-purpose) flour
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 tablespoon mixed spice
Olive oil, to grease
For the Chocolate and raisin Greek Easter buns:
125g (4oz) raisins
2 heaped teaspoons finely chopped orange zest
60g (2 oz) milk couverture chocolate, cut into 12 little cubes (or 12 couverture buttons)
For the Mixed seed and fruit buns:
60g (2 oz) raisins
60g (2 oz) dried apricots, chopped
2 tablespoons chia seeds
2 tablespoons mixed seeds for sprinkling (I used poppy seeds and pumpkin seeds/pepitas)
Glaze:
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon caster sugar, extra
1 egg yolk

Combine the melted butter, sugar and 1 cup (250 ml) of the warm milk in a large bowl. Gradually whisk in the eggs and salt.
Combine yeast and remaining ½ cup warm milk in a bowl, stir to remove lumps, and allow to stand for 8–10 minutes, until frothy. Add the yeast mixture to the butter mixture and stir to combine. Gradually add the flour, cinnamon and mixed spice. Use a wooden spoon to stir until combined, then use your hands to bring the dough together.
Dust your work surface with flour, and knead dough for 15 minutes, until smooth and elastic.
First rising:
Place dough in a large, lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and rest in a warm place for 2 hours (or up to 3 hours), until doubled in size.
Punching and resting:
Punch down the dough with your fist, and divide in half, handing one piece to your kitchen assistant! To one portion of dough (for the Easter buns) add the 125g raisins and orange zest; and to the other portion add the 60g raisins, 60g chopped dried apricots and chia seeds. Turn dough pieces onto a lightly floured surface and knead each for 10–15 minutes, until smooth.
Set prepared dough portions aside for 10 minutes to rest.
Line two baking trays with baking paper. Lightly pat each dough portion flat, and cut each into 12 even pieces (24 in total). Gently roll each piece into a ball and arrange on prepared baking trays, leaving 2cm (¾”) between each. Push a small cube or button of chocolate into each of the Easter buns (ie. the ones without seeds). Don’t push them all the way down, or they’ll burn on the bottom.
Second rising:
Cover prepared buns with two damp, well squeezed-out tea towels. Set aside in a warm place for 45 minutes or until almost double in size.
Meanwhile make the glaze by whisking together the milk, extra caster sugar and egg yolk.
Baking and eating:
Preheat oven to 180°C (350ºF).
Lightly brush the tops of the buns with prepared glaze. Sprinkle the mixed seed and fruit buns with poppy seeds and pumpkin seeds. Bake for 15–18 minutes or until buns are golden and sound hollow when tapped on the base. You can bake the buns in two batches if your oven can’t accommodate the trays side by side.
Mixed seed and fruit buns can be set aside to cool on trays, then frozen (see tips below).
Serve Easter buns immediately, pulled apart and spread with butter.

  • Chocolate and raisin Easter buns are best eaten immediately, while still warm, with lashings of butter. They can also be re-heated on Easter morning, covered in foil, in a warm oven; or split and toasted. Leftovers can be used for bread n’ butter pudding or French toast!
  • Couverture chocolate is premium quality, containing a higher percentage of cocoa butter than regular chocolate. It’s smooth, creamy and completely delicious. You’ll find it at specialty food stores. In Australia it’s available at Essential Ingredient, Melbourne Food Depot and Belgian Delights.
  • Mixed seed and fruit buns can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 2 months. Defrost overnight at room temperature and use in lunchboxes, lightly spread with butter or creamed cheese.

Greek Easter buns and vintage bunny. One Equals TwoVintage Danish apron with removable bunny

 

31 thoughts on “A nice pair of buns

  1. I love the chocolate and raisin buns and the little bunny apron.. funny that the bunny’s face looks a little bit like a koala bear?! Big love and hugs to you with the sad news of your father’s passing. March and April have been tough months for us too with my father in law’s passing and also a dear family friend. I am so happy to know you (so fun and creative, beautiful and thoughtful) thanks to your wonderful father. i know the fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree. ❤

    • Ha. You’re right Kim, that big oval bunny nose looks very koala-ish!
      Thanks for your truly beautiful message. It has me all teary. My dad was one-in-a-million and it’s hard to cope with him not being here. I’m so sorry Kim that you’ve had such an emotionally-draining month too. Lots of love to you from across the seas. ❤

  2. Your buns looks amazing and I am having a hard time deciding which variety would be my favorite! And the Danish apron and bunny is a treasure to keep. The colors have kept wonderfully!

  3. Both the buns look great and your pictures are awesome (especially the open bun with the melting chocolate, yum!). The apron with the removable bunny is fun! My mum is more of a hoarder than me… but then thats because I live in tiny apartments and have to move every once in a while! But it’s great to keep these kinds of things and rediscover them later. xx
    PS I thought I was already following your FB page but am “liking” it again now 🙂

  4. I have to agree with the first to comment. That split roll with the oozing chocolate is really something. I guess that’s what they call the money shot. And what a great idea splitting the dough to make 2 types of buns. I’d certainly like both options.

    • Thanks so much John. We’re big fans of an oozing surprise center, and my boys love the poking task. Actually, you’ve reminded me of arancini with hidden melty mozzarella cubes. Yes! That’s dinner sorted.

  5. That shot with the melted chocolate hiding in the middle of the bun is taunting me. I need one *now*! One of the cafés is kyneton is doing chocolate sourdough hot cross buns. I usually think non-fruit hot crossies are sacrilege, but man they’re good. Yours look even better, combining two excellent fillings. That apron is the cutest, I’d love to find one for Nell and keep it forever like your mum did.

    • I sampled that oozing chocolate straight out of the oven and burnt my tongue, but what a way to go! I think Nell *needs* a bunny apron. Not sure if you’re a sewer, and I’m guessing you have *lots* of free time 😉 … but Misako Mimoko (one of my absolute fave crafters) just posted this bunny pocket tutorial to Handmade Charlotte and it looks divine.

      • Oh man, that’s cute! I do sew, but I’m still trying to finish the knitted baby blanket I started 9 months ago. It will be 3 summers along before I do it at this rate.

  6. Not only is it nearly Easter, but my older boy has his birthday (16!) the day after the weekend. I am seriously not prepared, but as always you inspire me Sas. Lovely creations! Happy Easter!

    • Happy Easter to you too df. 16!? Yikes. Can’t imagine either of mine at that age (or height)! I guess that means driving lessons are on the cards for you. Another yikes. Good luck 🙂

  7. That apron is seriously adorable, I love it! Things like that should definitely be treasured 🙂 As for these gorgeous Easter buns, I love the idea of making a half batch of seed & fruit and half chocolate deliciousness. Yum! I need to get my butt into gear and bake some buns before Easter is over! xx

    • Love my little apron too, especially the hand-painted basket pocket. YES, get baking lady! Looking forward to seeing what you come up with. I plan to push my oven to the limit over the weekend. Can’t wait!

  8. Oh my goodness, your apron is priceless. Bless your mom for holding on to it for you! Lovely buns, I would have to eat two in a row because deciding which one to have would be an issue. I have never made bread using yeast and am quite intimidated by it. My excuse has always been the lovely French bakery up the street. But, I don’t know…I can see by your photographs there really are nicer looking (and sounding) breads to be had. Beautiful photographs Saskia.

    • My mum held onto *everything* from my childhood. Only last weekend she pulled out a huge bag of projects from my graphic design course in the 80s! I had no idea she’d snaffled them away. I’ve inherited the hoarding gene too, as the multiple old suitcases piled on top of my wardrobe will attest to…
      Making yeast bread is SO satisfying. I highly recommend it. Nothing quite like the aroma of fresh-baked bread, especially when you’ve made it all by yourself! Oh, and kneading is fabulous incidental exercise too!

    • Thanks Norma. Can’t take credit for the little apron though! I was born in Holland and it’s a treasured possession from when I was a little girl. Thankfully my mum packed it when we moved to Australia, along with my very first teddy bear and all my doll’s clothes (made by my Oma)!

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