“Easter in Guyana is one of the most festive times of the year and no celebration is complete without food. The celebration begins on Good Friday with hot cross buns, and a feast celebrating the end of Lent then continues on Easter Monday with picnics in the park where families spend the day flying kites. My mom would make large batches of Hot Cross Buns and Tennis Rolls that were enough to last the entire weekend; we made a sport out of eating as much as we could.” – Jehan Powell, Jehan Can Cook
- ¾ cup warm water 110 -115 degrees F
- ¼ cup white sugar
- 1 Tbsp. active dry yeast
- 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour plus extra for a work surface
- 1 tsp. fine table salt
- ½ cup warm whole milk 110 – 115 degrees F
- ¼ cup unsalted butter melted
- ½ tsp. vanilla essence
- ½ tsp. lemon zest
- 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter melted
Pour the warm water into a large bowl, add the sugar and stir to dissolve. Sprinkle in the yeast, cover and let sit for 10 minutes in a warm place to proof.
Meanwhile, mix together the flour and salt and set aside.
Add the milk, melted butter, vanilla, lemon zest and flour to the yeast mixture. Mix to form a dough and when the dough comes together, knead for 15 minutes. If using a stand mixer with a dough hook, knead for 10 minutes.
Remove the dough from the bowl, and lightly oil the bowl and add the dough back to it. Cover the bowl and set in a warm, draft free place and let rise for 45 minutes or until doubled in size.
Lightly brush the baking pan with oil and set aside.
Lightly flour a work surface and transfer the risen dough to it. Knead for 2 minutes to form a smooth ball. Cut the dough into 12 equal pieces and roll each piece into a smooth ball then assemble on the baking pan. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise for 35 minutes. 20 minutes before the time is up, preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Transfer the rolls to the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until brown. Remove from oven and brush with melted butter. Let cool to room temperature or warm before using.
If using instant yeast - mix together the flour, sugar, salt and yeast in a large bowl then add all the other ingredients to form a dough.