We were brainstorming what recipes we could do for Easter when Gemma’s boyfriend Chris suggested doing some savoury hot cross buns (there’s the credit he has been nagging us for). We played around with flavours and found that the fennel and chives complimented the salmon and cream cheese perfectly, and created a very special Gills Easter breakfast. Give it a try!
Timings: 40 minutes, plus a minimum of 1 hour rising time
Ingredients: (makes 8)
- 500g wholemeal bread flour
- Pinch of salt
- 2 sachets (7g each) of dried bread yeast
- 400ml warm milk
- 100g chives
- Tablespoon of fennel seeds
- Tablespoon of plain flour
- 50g parmesan
- 1 egg beaten for the egg wash
- Smoked salmon and cream cheese to serve
- Lemon and black pepper (optional)
- Start off by placing the flour and salt into the bowl, and stirring through the dried yeast.
- Then make a well and add the warm milk (it needs to be more like lukewarm, if it’s too hot you will kill the yeast)
- Bring together to form a dough and knead for 5-10 minutes before placing in a bowl lightly covered with oiled clingfilm. You can leave for an hour, but we left overnight (a trick learnt from Gemma’s friend Jo who does the same and makes awesome bread). The next morning take out and add the fennel and chives and lightly knead through.
- Shape into 8 buns and then place onto to greased trays with enough space between each one as they will rise again.
- Leave for at least another hour to rise.
- Mix the parmesan, tablespoon of plain flour and a splash of water to bring it together. Roll out and cut long strips from this dough; these will form the crosses.
- Place the white crosses on the buns and then brush with the egg wash.
- Place in a preheated oven to 200 degrees and bake for 20-25 minutes. The buns will go a deep golden colour and when done will sound hollow when you tap the bottom.
- Leave to cool slightly before tucking in and serving with the smoked salmon and cream cheese. We like ours served with a squeeze of lemon and black pepper.