For the past couple of weeks I’ve been thinking about how to reinvent the hot cross bun, but you know what? The more I thought about it the more I realised, why would you want to? The combination of spices is perfectly punctuated with the sweet/tartness of dried fruit. To be honest, I don’t even like the reincarnations of the hot cross bun that are already offered, so what the hell was I thinking?
Then I switched my thinking, what could I inject the flavours of the hot cross bun into and then I thought of another Easter favourite of mine…the Kringel. This Estonian twisted bread already has the super flavour combination of cinnamon sugar, which is already awesome in itself but I thought for this Easter I would hot-cross-bunify it and add those spices we so associate with Easter.
Outcome? Total success. Oh and the smell that wafts through your house when baking this? Hell yes.
p.s. Have a great Easter everyone, may you indulge and be safe!
Estonian Hot Cross Bun Kringel
what you need:
- 180ml lukewarm milk
- 1.5 tbsp caster sugar
- 22g fresh yeast or 1.5 packets of dried yeast
- 450g plain/all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 1/4 tsp mixed spice
- 1 1/4 tsp all spice
- 45g butter, melted
- 2 egg yolk
- 75g softened butter
- 6 tbsp caster sugar
- 4 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 3/4 cup sultanas/raisins (or mixture)
what to do:
Combine the lukewarm milk, sugar and yeast in a small bowl and let it sit for 5 minutes until frothy. In a large bowl, mix the flour, spices, melted butter and egg yolks. Add the milk/yeast mixture and mix to combine. If the dough is a bit dry add a touch more lukewarm milk until the dough comes together. Knead the dough until smooth and then shape into a ball and put in a large greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let it sit in a warm place until doubled in sized (about 1 hour).
Pre-heat the oven to 180C/350F.
Soak the sultanas in boiling water for 15 mins then drain.
Dust your workbench flour and roll the dough into a rectangular shape (short side facing you) until it is 0.5 cm thick.
Mix the softened butter with the cinnamon and sugar and spread 3/4 of it over the dough and then sprinkle with the sultanas. Gently push the sultanas into the cinnamon sugar so they stick. Roll the dough lengthways like a swiss roll. Slice it lengthways down the middle and twist the dough ensuring the open layers are exposed and then form it into a circle. A diagram of the process can be seen here.
Transfer it to a baking tray lined with baking paper and brush with the remaining butter, sugar and cinnamon.
Pop it in the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until the surface is golden brown. This is best served warm.