30 mins to 1 hour
1 to 2 hours
Makes 6 bread 'men'
These are a traditional Dutch bread for Easter and children will love them because the bread 'men' appear to be hugging the egg.
Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6. Line 3 baking trays with non-stick baking paper.
Gently heat the milk until tepid. Measure the flour into a large bowl, add the salt to one side of the bowl and the yeast on the opposite side. Rub in the butter using your fingertips. Pour in the tepid milk and mix to combine. Transfer the mixture to a freestanding mixer fitted with a dough hook. Knead until it leaves the side of the bowl and forms a ball of dough. Alternatively, tip out the mixture onto a floured work surface and knead the dough for 10 minutes, or until smooth and elastic to the touch.
Put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover loosely with cling film. Set aside until doubled in size. This will take less than an hour in a warm place.
Once the dough has proved, carefully remove it from the bowl (expect the dough to collapse once touched). Place on a lightly floured surface and divide into 6 equal pieces.
Using your fingers, or a rolling pin, roll the dough to a flatter rectangle shape (about 2.5cm/1in thick). Place an egg (still in its shell) in the middle pressing down slightly. Imagine the dough as a clock, makes short slits at 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10 o’clock. Stretch out the dough to form the legs and arms and shape the top into a circle to form a head. Pull the arms up and secure over the egg. Use the currants to make eyes and a smile. Glaze with beaten egg. Repeat with the remaining dough.
Place each 'man' on the prepared baking tray (they will expand as they cook so it’s best to place 2 on each tray). Bake for 25 minutes, or until golden-brown.
Serve warm. Remove the egg and break the shell to release the hard-boiled egg. Serve with a little butter.
If rising and cooking straight away in a warm kitchen, expect the dough to rise quicker than a regular bread (this recipe has more yeast in it), do not touch the dough when rising as this will collapse it.
They are lovely for breakfast, simply slow rise the bread overnight and eat the next morning.