So as you know we’ve been making things of late that would be good for the kidlets in their lunch boxes or for an afternoon snack, it definitely depends on how old your children are, but if they have afterschool activities you may be running short of ideas, which was how this little project came about. My main concern was that whatever you offer them it has to be healthy, tasty, and easy to pack and more than likely taste good cold.
I have had a week of experimentation and this is what I’ve come up with. Definitely tasty & good cold, relatively easy to make, you can get the children involved in the making of & not too sweet, I figure if you’re making these yourself you know what’s gone into them and therefore every now and again something sweet is ok.
This recipe originally comes from The Essential Baking cookbook. But you might have gathered by now that it’s very hard for me not to play around with recipes. I usually buy yeast in a large container which I keep in the fridge, ours has been there for a while now so I have been using a bit more than the recipe indicates, I also made my own mixed fruit with sultanas, apricots and some candied peel I made when oranges & lemons were in bountiful supply.
If you have a dough hook on your mix master then use this and make the yeast mix in your mix master bowl so you’re just using the one bowl.
You will need:
2 tsp dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
2 ½ cups plain flour, sifted
½ cup warm milk
185g softened butter
1Tbsp sugar, extra
2 Tbsp mixed or candied peel, finely diced
1 tsp mixed spice
¼ cup soft brown sugar
1 cup mixed dried fruit (you could use anything along the lines of dried apples, sultanas, apricots, peaches etc)
1 Tbsp milk, extra for glazing
2 Tbsp Sugar, extra for glazing
½ cup icing sugar
1-2 Tbsp milk
What to do:
Combine the yeast, sugar & a couple of tablespoons of the flour in a large bowl, add the milk and mix well. Set aside in a warm place until it’s frothy and thick. This should take about 10 minutes. While you’re waiting for the yeast to activate sift the remaining flour into another bowl and rub in 125gms of the softened butter with your fingertips until it resembles coarse sand or breadcrumbs. Stir in the extra sugar, mixed peel & ½ the mixed spice. Add this to the yeast mixture with the egg and mix well using the dough hook on your mix master. Work the dough until it comes together to form a smooth ball.
Lightly oil your mixing bowl put the dough in and cover with cling film and place in a warm place to allow to prove for an hour or until it’s at least doubled in size.
Pre heat your oven to 210°C 415°F or gas 6-7. Ensure your mixed fruit is finely chopped if you’re making your own. Beat the remaining butter with the brown sugar & mixed spice until it’s light & creamy. When your dough is ready, knock it back and roll out to approx 40 x 25cm (16 x 10 inches) rectangle, Spread the butter mixture all over the dough to within 2cm of the edge of one of the longer sides, sprinkle the fruit all over the dough.
Roll the dough from the long side, firmly and evenly to enclose the fruit. Using a sharp knife cut the roll into evenly sized pieces about 2 ½ cm thick. Arrange the slices onto a well greased oven tray with the seams facing inwards. Flatten slightly, cover with cling film and set aside to rise for 30 mins or until they’re well risen again. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown & cooked. When they’re almost ready stir the milk & sugar in a small saucepan over a low heat until the sugar is dissolved, brush this mix over the hot buns. Cool & mix the icing sugar, drizzle over the buns. You should get about 12 – 15 smallish buns.