This quick and easy Easter Bread has all the flavour of hot cross buns with none of the hard work.
I love hot cross buns, and there is absolutely nothing like the homemade. However Spring is always a busy time for us and I often find that Easter food preparation gets left until the last minute. That’s where my Last Minute Easter Bread comes in.
Easy to make in your bread machine, this fragrant, delicately spiced loaf will fill your house with Easter smells while it is baking. All you have to do is pop all the ingredients in the bread machine and before long the smells of cinnamon, ginger and cloves will be wafting through the house while you get on with the rest of your Easter preparations.
Last Minute Bread Machine Easter Bread
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 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.
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