Milk and Honey Braided Buns with Dried Fruit and Pearl Sugar

raisin buns

The Holidays are quickly approaching, but I’m sure you’ve had some inkling of that, seeing as most stores started blasting the Christmas tunes the day after Halloween. I will admit to starting it a little too early, as this time of year is my favorite, and I’m always ready to jump into the celebration. Holiday baking is high on my list of favorite things to do, and while I spend plenty of time making cookies and bars and candy, yeasted treats are the most delicious.

We’ve made plenty of delicious holiday breads here on our site (Christmas Stollen, Brioche Cake with Sugared Cranberries, Pumpkin Spice Monkey Bread, and Panettone, just to name a few), and we’re going to add one more to the line up: Milk and Honey Braided Buns. Studded with dried fruit and topped with pearl sugar, these little braids are a lovely addition to any Christmas breakfast or New Years’ Brunch. (And, if you’re in need of any more Holiday music, I have a playlist here and here you can check out.)

raisin buns

Milk and Honey Braided Buns with Dried Fruit and Pearl Sugar
From The New Healthy Bread in Five Minutes A Day, page 337

4 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon granulated yeast
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/4 cup vital wheat gluten
2 cups milk
2 cups lukewarm water
1/3 cup honey
2 large eggs, room temperature
3/4 cup dried fruit (I used golden raisins, cranberries, and candied orange peel)
Egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water) for brushing on the loaf
Pearl sugar, for sprinkling

Whisk together the flours, yeast, salt, and vital wheat gluten.

Combine the remaining ingredients and mix them with the dry ingredients until combined.

Cover (not airtight) and allow the dough to rest at room temperature until it rises and collapses, about 2 hours.

The dough can be used immediately after its initial rise, though it is easier to handle when it is cold. Refrigerate in a lidded (not airtight) container and use over the next 5 days.

raisin buns

On baking day: Dust the surface of the refrigerated dough with flour and cut off a 2-pound piece. Dust the piece with more flour and quickly shape it into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom, rotating the ball a quarter turn as you go.

raisin buns

Cut the dough into 3-4 ounces pieces (I made mine 4 ounces each).

raisin buns

Cut each piece into thirds. Stretch each piece into thin ropes, and braid the dough.

raisin buns

Tuck the ends under and pinch them together. Place the buns on a baking sheet and let rest for 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 375F.

raisin buns

Brush each bun with egg wash.

raisin buns

Sprinkle the tops with pearl sugar.

raisin buns

Bake for about 25 minutes. Serve slightly warm with butter, cheese, or jam.

raisin buns



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6 thoughts on “Milk and Honey Braided Buns with Dried Fruit and Pearl Sugar

  1. LOOKS GREAT I CAN’T BUY THE VITAL WHEAT GLUTEN HERE IN COSTA RICA, CAN YOU SUGGEST HOW I ADJUST THIS RECIPE?
    THANKS!

    1. Hi Myriam,

      You’ll want to decrease the water by 1/2 cup and keep everything else as it is written. The dough will not store for quite as long without the vital wheat gluten.

      Thanks, Zoë

  2. Merry Christmas and happy Hanukkah! I made these this morning, after making the dough last night. I added golden raisins, dried cranberries and candied orange peel. Although not quite as pretty as Sarah’s, they were very good! Thank you for posting this, as well as all the other recipes, and for answering all our questions. Wishing you all the best in the new year.

  3. Hi. I have a houseguest coming who can eat butter, but no other dairy products. Do you think I can successfully substitute non-dairy milk for dairy milk in any of your recipes?

    Thanks!
    Ingrid

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