Minichefs: Smartie hot cross buns

Minichefs spread its wings last week, to the leafy greenness of the Natal Midlands. We are lucky to know an awesome Consumer Studies teacher at St Annes, and while school was on holiday their kitchen was overtaken to create some cheerful Smartie Hot Cross Buns (download printable version of this recipe).

Time taken: 2 1/2 hours (which includes time for the dough to rise)
Ages involved: 2 to 5 year olds
Number of children: 5

Tools used:
Measuring cups and spoons
Sieve
Mixing bowls
Mixer with a dough hook
Piping bag
Pastry brush
Kuhn Rikon White Rabbit kids aprons

Ingredients:
4 cups cake flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp each of mixed spice, nutmeg, cinnamon
1 pkt instant yeast
1/4 cup (60g) butter
150ml warm milk
1 large egg, beaten
125ml lukewarm water
1 cup dried fruit cake mix
60g box of Smarties

Topping:
1 cup cake flour
1/2 tsp salt
4 Tbs oil
200ml milk
1 large, beaten egg
3Tbs sugar, 3 Tbs boiling water (to glaze)

Method:
1. Sieve the flour and add dry ingredients including the yeast. Mix together.

2. Melt the butter in the warm milk and cool slightly (yeast is killed at high temps, so the liquid ingredients must be lukewarm and not too hot). Add the beaten egg.
3. Add the milk mixture to the dry ingredients. Add enough lukewarm water to form a soft dough.

4. Knead the dough in a mixer for 5 minutes or by hand until it is smooth and elastic.
5. Roll the dough into a ball and place in a large bowl which has been coated with a small amount of oil. Cover with plastic and leave to rest for 30mins (you can also place the dough in the fridge overnight to “cold prove” and then remove an hour before needed)
6. Knock the dough down and work in the dried fruit and Smarties while kneading.

7. Roll the dough into a sausage shape and divide into 16 equal pieces.
8. Roll each piece into a ball and place on a greased baking tray.

9. Cover with plastic and allow to rise in a warm place until double in volume, about 30mins (we coved our trays in a blanket and placed in the boot of a car!)

10. Prepare the topping by mixing flour, salt and oil together. Gradually add the milk until the batter is thin enough to pipe.
11. Brush the buns with beaten egg and pipe a cross over each one.

12. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 200 degrees C for 20mins.
13. Glaze the buns with warm sugar water as they come out of the oven.

14. Cool slightly, butter and serve.

Get ready for Easter, people (and don’t forget about our Easter riddle hunt starting Thursday 14 April).