I love Easter; it’s actually a bigger deal than Christmas to us Cypriot’s & Greek’s (although our Easter isn’t until the 12th April). But any excuse for big BBQ’s, lots of family time and of course, chocolate. It is also the time of year that every Greek household plays hosts to Flaounes. These are a type of cheese and sultana filled breads which are covered with sesame seeds and taste amazing and are always bought in abundance.
I wanted to make some flaounes this year, but when I found out how long they take – which includes an overnight process – my mum and I decided to buy them instead. Such bad Cypriot women aren’t we? Although, my mum & her partner are heading to Cyprus next week to celebrate the Greek Easter by roaming the streets of Nicosia with flowers and candles and thousands of other people, so she kinda wins.
Back to the drawing board, I chose to make some good ol’ fashioned hot cross buns instead. I followed a recipe I found on the BBC Good Food website which turned out to be one by Paul Hollywood (see link below). It was simple enough to do, but as with any bread, it was pretty time consuming. As well as all the kneading and prep work, it required 3 hours of proving time. What a bore.
Once the dough is made and proved and all the filling ingredients have been added (chopped apple, sultanas and orange zest) and then proved again, they were rolled out into balls, proved for yet another hour and then gained their notorious white crosses (made from flour and water that forms a paste, for all of those wondering). Baked for around 20 minutes, glazed with apricot jam and
They tasted really good, but could have done with maybe a minute or two less cooking time just so they weren’t as hard on the outside. The thing I’ve found when making bread is that it needs to be taken out of the oven at the moment you look at it and think ‘it needs just two more minutes’.
All in all they were pretty simple to make, but it does need a bit of elbow grease to knead the dough, and quite a bit of patience to allow for three hours of proving. Having said that, when you set out to make bread those things are pretty much a given!
Here is the link for the recipe I used for these delicious bread treats; it makes 15 buns:
I hope you’re all enjoying your Easter Sunday! Wherever you are and whatever you may be doing, just make sure it’s putting a smile on your face 🙂