Bake up a storm for Easter

Easter is coming, time to hatch a few plans. Any excuse for some fun home decorating, that’s what we say. Although we would, given we’ve got all sorts of stuff to feather your nest for the upcoming festivities.

Some simple ways you can get your Easter on:

Egg hunt!

Create a fantastical land for the kids in the garden with little Easter-themed ornaments on the patio and on the lawn. Plant decorative eggs amongst the chocolatey ones - got to make it a little challenging.

Table decorating

Layer up pastel dishware and napkins. A nice big, clean tablecloth will act as a great backdrop. Perhaps try a metallic Easter bunny as centrepiece. Or vases galore filled with spring blooms.

Easter Sunday lunch

Now your table’s set it would be rude not to go to town. We’ve got nice, big roasting dishes for your lamb roast and all the glassware and crockery you need to host with the most.

In fact, while we’re on the subject of eating, we thought we’d share our recipe for hot cross buns. Give them a go, they’re pretty easy to make and delicious hot with butter. Then again, what isn’t?

Hot Cross Buns (makes 15).

 

Ingredients:

For the buns:

500g strong bread flour

300ml full fat milk

50g butter

Pinch salt

75g caster sugar

1 sachet fast-action yeast

1 egg

100g raisins or sultanas

1 tsp cinnamon

 

For the cross:

75g plain flour

 

For the glaze:

3 tbsp apricot jam

 

Method:

  1. Bring the milk to the boil then remove from the heat and add the butter. Let it cool. Put the flour, salt, and yeast into a large bowl. Mix the milk and butter mixture in, then add the beaten egg. Use a wooden spoon first then your hands and bring the dough together. It’ll be sticky.
  2. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until it’s smooth and elasticky. It should take about 5 minutes. Put the dough in an oiled bowl, cover it with oiled clingfilm, and let it rise somewhere warm for about an hour or until it’s doubled in size.
  3. Press the dried fruit into the dough and also mix in the ground cinnamon. Knead briefly and then leave to rise covered again for another hour.
  4. Divide the dough into 15 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and place on a couple of lined baking trays. Allow enough space around each bun for them to expand. Cover each tray loosely with clingfilm or a tea towel and leave to prove for one more hour.
  5. Preheat the oven to 220c/200c fan/gas mark 7. Make a thick paste with the plain flour, adding 1 tbsp of water at a time to get the right oozy consistency. Use a piping bag to pipe crosses onto the buns. The easiest way is to do a row at a time in one direction, then repeat in the other direction to complete the crosses. Bake for 20 minutes, until they’re golden brown.
  6. In the meantime gently heat the jam and stir until it’s smooth and liquid. While the buns are still warm from the oven brush the still warm glaze over the top of them. Leave to cool, then try not to eat them all at once.