Chef Leylie Hayes kindly shares some of Avoca’s tastiest baking recipes
It seems like the nation has been swept up in a desire for baking – we can’t count how many banana bread recipes we’ve seen online this past week – and it’s great to see. Baking is a wonderful way to pass the time, get little helpers into the kitchen and take our minds off the news. And at the end we have a freshly made loaf of bread or something sweet to enjoy with a cup of tea.
Avoca knows a thing or two about good baking – it’s a go-to for tasty cakes and hearty loaves. So we asked its Executive Chef, Leylie Hayes, to share some of Avoca’s most-loved baking recipes. Try your hand at delicious hot cross buns, indulgent banoffee cheesecake or Avoca’s famous multiseed bread.
AVOCA’s Hot Cross Buns
Makes 10-12 buns
- 500g strong white flour
- 20g fresh or 7g dried yeast
- 5g salt
- 50g caster sugar
- 30g melted cooled butter
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons mixed spice
- 50g mixed peel
- 125g sultanas
- 275ml luke warm water or milk
- 1 egg optional
Pipable dough for cross: Make a stiff but pipable paste by mixing plain flour with a couple of tablespoons of cold water until smooth.
- Pre-heat your oven to 180 fan assisted
- Start by dissolving the yeast in either 250ml of lukewarm water or milk along with the melted cooled butter.
- Place the flour, spices, salt and sugar into the bowl of a food mixer with the dough hook, mix on a low speed for a minute to incorporate ingredients. Then slowly add the yeast liquid, and egg if using (this will give you a slightly richer dough) until the mix comes together. Then add your fruit and mix on a low speed for 5 – 8 minutes or until dough is springy to touch, (it should hold a thumb indentation for a minute or two).
- If your mixture is sticky simply add a little extra flour. Once your dough is ready, remove to a floured surface and divide into 10/12 equal size balls approx 100g in weight each. Roll each ball into a circle then place onto a parchment lined baking tray, allowing enough room for each bun to double in size.
- Make a cross on top of each bun with your thick flour and water paste, you can pipe it on or use a teaspoon to drizzle it across. Allow the buns to rise in a cosy place this will take between 25 – 45 minutes depending on your kitchen’s temperature. Once they have risen place in the hot preheated oven for 18 – 22 minutes or until golden and cooked through.
- Remove the buns from oven and whilst still hot brush with a little honey or golden syrup.
AVOCA’s Frozen Banoffee Cheesecake
- 150 grams dark chocolate 70%
- 300 grams oaty biscuits (digestives)
- 8 bananas, very ripe
- 500 grams cream cheese
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 225 grams dulce de leche or thick caramel sauce (reserve 50 grams for drizzling after frozen)
- Grease & line a 20cm cake tin.
- Melt 50 grams of chocolate & mix with biscuits. Pulse in a food processor until well combined & crumbs are fine. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil & pulse again.
- Tip crumb mix into cake pan & press firmly & evenly to create a biscuit base.
- Using a stand-up mixer, add the peeled bananas, cream cheese, vanilla & dulce de leche. Blend with a paddle until completely combined & smooth.
- Pour the banana mix over the biscuit base & spread evenly.
- Put in the freezer & freeze overnight.
- Take the cake out of the freezer 1 hour before serving. Decorate with shaved chocolate & drizzle extra dulce de leche over the top.
AVOCA’s Famous Multiseed Bread
- 175 g plain white flour
- 300 g extra coarse brown flour
- 50 g wheat bran
- 25 g wheatgerm
- 3 tablespoons Avoca multiseed mix
- 2 heaped teaspoons baking powder
- 1 level teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon treacle
- 450 – 525 ml milk
- Pre- heat the oven to 230 fan assisted.
- Oil a 2 lb non-stick loaf tin with tasteless oil.
- Place all dry ingredients in large bowl, mix well. Make a well in centre of mix, add in the egg, treacle and most of milk, using your hand in a claw like position in a circular movement until you form a thick porridge type dough consistency, adding a bit more milk if required.
- Place in an oiled tin, make a deep incision along centre of loaf, sprinkle a few extra seeds on top and then place in hot oven, bake for 15 – 20 minutes until bread is well risen then reduce temperature to 180 and cook for a further 40 – 50 minutes or until skewer inserted comes out clear.
- Cool on a wire rack.