Easter Recipe – Pecan Buns

Pecan Buns

All over the world, in just about every country where Christians celebrate Easter, seemingly there is a tradition of making, giving and eating Easter recipes based around enriched yeast-based breads and pastries!

Of course, in the UK we have hot-cross buns, but if you wanted to make a batch of deliciousness which does not contain dried fruits, why not try these Pecan Buns?  They are perfect for tearing and sharing, fabulously spicy and nutty and the taste great with an Easter morning cup of coffee!

Native to the Americas and a relative of walnuts, pecans are a highly nutritious but under-used nut in British cuisine. Here we have paired them with cinnamon and lemon flavours, enclosed a lovely buttery dough whirl, topped with a rich, lemony icing. You can prepare the dough up to the first proving the night before and leave overnight in the fridge – bring it out in the morning and follow the recipe for rolling out.

For the pecan buns:

  • 500g strong flour
  • 30g sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 250ml lukewarm milk
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 7g fast action yeast
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 150g soft light brown sugar
  • 3 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 75g pecans, toasted and roughly chopped
  • 150g softened unsalted butter, plus 25g melted, unsalted butter for brushing

For the icing:

  • 125g icing sugar
  • 75g cream cheese
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

To make the buns:

Sift the flour, sugar, yeast and salt into a warm mixing bowl and make a well in the centre.

Melt the 50g butter and mix with the lukewarm milk. Add the beaten egg and lemon zest to the well and gradually add the milk and butter mix to a soft dough.

Turn out onto a lightly floured board and knead for approximately 10 minutes or until the dough springs back when pressed. Place the dough in a bowl and cover, leave to prove in a warm place for approximately 1 hour or until doubled in size. (Or leave overnight in the fridge, in a tightly-covered bowl).

Lightly oil a 21cm x 28cm roasting tray. Mix together the brown sugar, cinnamon and pecans. Lightly knock back the dough and roll to a rectangle 40cm x 50cm. Spread the rolled dough with the 150g softened, unsalted butter and sprinkle with the cinnamon/sugar mixture.

Starting from the long side, tightly roll the dough like a Swiss roll. Cut the roll into 12 slices and place in the prepared tin, cut sides down. Cover with oiled cling film and leave in a warm place to prove, until doubled in size, approximately 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180ºC, gas mark 4. Brush the buns with a little melted butter and bake for 30 minutes or until golden. Leave in the tin to cool slightly, then remove and cool on a wire rack.

To finish:

Beat together the icing ingredients until smooth then drizzle over the buns.

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