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Sunday Kitchen: Dough it yourself

The Dunbrody House’s star chef, Kevin Dundon, shares his favourite recipes

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Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns

Shokupan Japanese Milk Bread

Shokupan Japanese Milk Bread

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Hot Cross Buns

AS THE school Easter holidays begin, here are two bread recipes that will keep you and your little helpers busy for a while. Bread is one of my favourite things to bake at home when I have free time — from family favourite brown bread, which rises quickly thanks to bicarbonate of soda, to on-trend sourdough, which requires a bit more time and patience as the natural yeast culture does its thing. Today’s recipes both use yeast, so they will require some time to prove, as well as good quality flour, but trust me — the pay-off is worth it. First is the traditional hot cross bun. As a child, I remember Easter couldn’t come fast enough for my sister and myself, when mum would buy fresh hot cross buns from the local bakery. Here, I show you how to make the DIY version, which are every bit as delicious. My next recipe is a Japanese milk bread, which I use a lot for sandwiches as the Yudane method helps the bread keep its bounce. Yudane is just a mix of water and flour left for a few hours for the gluten to gelatinise. Like me, I’m sure you’ll love this soft and airy loaf. Happy cooking, Kevin

HOT CROSS BUNS

Ingredients (makes 12):
■ 300ml milk
■ 65g butter
■ 520g strong flour
■ 1 tsp table salt
■ 80g caster sugar
■ 1 orange, zest
■ 1 tsp mixed spices
■ 1 tsp cinnamon
■ 7g dried yeast

■ 1 egg
■ 50g sultanas/currants (soaked in tea or whiskey)
■ 4 tbsp apricot jam to glaze
■ For the paste:
■ 80g flour
■ 3-4 tbsp water
Method:
1. In a small saucepan, bring the milk to the boil. Remove from the heat and add the butter. Set aside to cool.
2. Place the flour, salt, sugar, orange zest, mixed spices, cinnamon and dried yeast in a bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the egg. Mix well and knead for five minutes in a food mixer until the dough comes together and is stretchy looking.
3. Cover the bowl with cling film and prove for around one hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
4. Add the sultanas or currants, mix well, cover and prove for a further hour or until it has again doubled in size.
5. Preheat the oven to 200C and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
6. Roll the dough into 12 x 80g balls and place on the baking tray. Prove for another 30 minutes until doubled in size.
7. Prepare the paste for the top of the buns. In a bowl, combine the flour with enough water to make a thick yet pipeable paste. Transfer into a piping bag.
8. Pipe a cross on the top of each bun and place in the oven. Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown and hollow sounding when tapped on the bottom.
9. Allow the buns to cool, then glaze with apricot jam and enjoy.

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Shokupan Japanese Milk Bread

Shokupan Japanese Milk Bread

Shokupan Japanese Milk Bread

SHOKUPAN JAPANESE MILK BREAD

Ingredients (serves 4):

For the Yudane:
■ 100g strong flour
■ 80ml water
■ For the bread:
■ 300ml milk
■ 400g strong flour
■ 10g dry yeast
■ 2 tbsp caster sugar
■ 2 tsp salt
■ 1 egg wash (1 egg yolk mixed with 1 tbsp milk)
■ 20g butter, at room temperature
Method:
1. Prepare the Yudane at least two hours ahead or, ideally, the night before. Place the flour and water in a bowl and stir to combine. Cover with cling film. Place in the fridge if leaving overnight or keep at room temperature if making the bread within a few hours.
2. Grease an eight-inch-deep bread tin and line with parchment paper.
3. In a bread mixer with a dough hook attachment, or a large bowl, place the flour, milk, yeast, sugar and salt.
4. Add the Yudane and butter in small pieces and knead for around 12-15 minutes or until the dough becomes very smooth.
5. Place the dough into a bowl and oil slightly to ensure a crust doesn’t form. Cover with cling film and leave to prove for around 60-90 minutes or until it has doubled in size.
6. Remove the cling film and punch the dough down. Separate into four equal pieces to be rolled into balls.
7. Place the dough balls in the bread tin and prove for a second time until doubled in size. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 160C.
8. Brush the dough very lightly with egg wash and place in the oven. Bake for 25 -30 minutes or until hollow sounding when tapped on the bottom.
9. Remove the bread from the tin and set aside to cool on a wire rack.
10 Serve the sliced bread with butter. Best enjoyed within three days or freeze immediately to enjoy at a later date.

TOP TIP: REMEMBER TO KEEP IT GREEN WHILE YOU CLEAN GREASY POTS AND PANS
I HAVE teamed up again this Easter with a fantastic group called Clean Coasts to remind everyone to “think before we pour” any grease down the sink.
The environmental conservation organisation — which gets communities involved in the protection of Ireland’s beaches, seas and marine life — is running a campaign over the coming days to keep home cooks aware that washing grease or debris down the sink with hot soapy water will eventually clog pipes.
See cleancoasts.org for more on this and initiatives like #2minutebeachclean

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