Easter Buns with Almond & Walnut Glaze
4 x 250 ml cake flour (plus a little more, for later)
10 ml salt
125 ml sugar
10 g (15 ml) sachet instant yeast
10 ml ground cinnamon
5 ml ground nutmeg
180 ml Safari Seedless Raisins
180 ml Safari Cake Mix
zest of an orange
1 large eating apple, peeled, cored and coarsely grated
350 ml warm milk (a little warmer than lukewarm)
125 ml melted butter
1 large egg, beaten
80 ml apricot jam
250 ml icing sugar, sifted
15 ml (or a little more, if required) milk or cream
5 ml vanilla essence
125 ml Safari Slivered Almonds
125 ml Safari Walnuts, roughly chopped
Put the flour, salt, sugar, yeast, cinnamon and nutmeg in a bowl and stir. Add the raisins, cake mix, orange zest and grated apple then make a well in the centre.
Whisk together the milk and melted butter and pour the mixture into the well together with the egg. Mix well with a spoon then transfer the dough to your food mixer and knead with the dough hook for 2 – 4 minutes or knead it by hand on a lightly-floured surface until the dough is smooth and elastic. Brands of flour can differ, so if your dough is firm and tough to manage, add more milk or if it’s too wet, add more flour until you have a soft, pliable and sticky dough. The easiest way to hand-knead is to hold the dough down with one hand and with the other hand’s wrist, stretch the dough away from you and then to fold the dough back and start again. Continue to knead for 6 – 8 minutes or until the dough is elastic but still sticky.
Fashion the dough into a ball and place in into a lightly-oiled large bowl. Turn the dough ball over so that its top is also covered with oil, cover the bowl with cling film and leave to rise in a warm place an hour or until doubled in size.
Roll it by hand into a long sausage of even thickness and cut into 18 equal pieces. This will ensure even baking of the buns. Place the pieces of dough into one or more greased deep baking trays leaving a small space between each bun.
Cover the baking tray or trays with cling film and set aside in a warm place for an hour to rise doubled its size, about an hour. Don’t be alarmed that the buns are now touching each other, you will break them apart after they’ve been baked.
Place the tray or trays in the oven preheated to 200º C and bake for 20 minutes or until golden and a skewer inserted comes out clean.
Remove the tray or trays from the oven, heat the apricot jam in the microwave then stir in 15 ml water and mix well. Brush the mixture over the buns and set aside to cool.
When cool, whisk together the icing sugar, cream or milk and vanilla until the mixture is smooth and looks stringy when lifted with the whisk. If the mixture is too thick, add a few extra drops of cream or milk to make a pourable but not runny mixture and then drizzle it over the rolls.
Finally, heat a non-stick pan and add all the nuts. Toast them over medium-high heat until lightly browned and aromatic. Don’t walk away, they burn very quickly! When the nuts are toasted to your liking, sprinkle them over the buns.
To serve, carefully break the buns apart.
Yields 18 buns