Does Easter ever sneak up on you? I mean, it is early this year but it’s not just this year that it has happened to me. For some reason, the first few months of the year always seem to hurtle by and I’m often surprised by the actual arrival of this wonderful celebration. I mean, I know when it’s Shrove Tuesday and as a Christian I am mindful of going through the season of Lent but the Easter weekend sometimes arrives before I expect it will. Then again, time seems to fly by so fast these days it’s no wonder!
Anyway, every year at Easter time I promise myself that this is the year I’m going to make Hot Cross Buns from scratch. Somehow I never get round to it. This year is no exception. Luckily I have this recipe for Bread Machine Easter Bread up my sleeve!
Easter Bread has all the flavour of hot cross buns without any of the hard work. All I have to do is pop all the ingredients in the bread machine and before long the smells of cinnamon, ginger and cloves are wafting through the house.
The method for adding ingredients to the bread machine in the recipe below is one I found a few years ago when I just couldn’t get my bread machine to work the way I wanted it to. I stumbled across it in The Bread Machine Book by Sonia Allison (which I believe is now sadly out of print.) It suggests adding the liquid ingredients first, then half the flour, then the sugar, salt etc. You then top it all with the remaining flour and then put the yeast on top. This method has worked so well for me that I now use it all the time. Feel free to substitute the method of adding the ingredients your bread machine manufacturer recommends.
Great sliced fresh and spread with butter or toasted and topped with your favourite spread, my Easter Bread makes a lovely breakfast on any day of the Easter weekend. In fact, it’s actually good all year round just as a fruit loaf. However, it’s at this wonderful time of year that my Easter bread really comes into its own. Wishing everyone who is celebrating a very Happy Easter!
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- about 1 cup apple juice at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 3 cups strong white bread flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- ½ to ¾ cup dried fruit or nice juicy raisins
- grated rind of one orange
- 2 teaspoons instant or fast acting dried yeast
- liquid honey, to glaze
- Beat the eggs lightly in a measuring cup and bring the measure up to 1¼ cups with apple juice.
- Beat the eggs and apple juice together lightly.
- Pour the liquid into a bread maker bucket and add the oil.
- In a large bowl, mix together the flour and spices.
- Put half this mixture on top of the water in the bread maker bucket.
- Add the sugar and salt.
- Put the remaining half of the flour mixture on top.
- Mound the yeast on the top of the flour mixture in the middle.
- Mix the dried fruit or raisins with the orange rind and place in the fruit dispenser of your bread machine. (Or set aside to add when you hear the ‘raisin beep’.)
- Put the bucket in the bread machine and set it to the correct setting (usually the ‘Raisin bake’ setting).
- When the bread is baked, carefully remove it from the bread maker bucket and put it on a wire rack to cool.
- Squeeze a bit of honey over the top and brush with a pastry brush to glaze.
- Allow the Easter bread and honey glaze to cool a little before slicing.
Shared with Full Plate Thursday
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