Mazanec or a really big bun

In another life I worked as a practice nurse for a group of GPs. I wasn’t yet writing about food but was already passionate about cooking and ingredients. We had a Czech doctor at the surgery and she and I would talk for hours over coffee about many things including her home and the food she grew up with. She spoke of choice being very limited and the food, to todays eye, quite heavy. Treats were looked forward to with relish as seasons and celebrations were marked with traditional and luxurious dishes. The custom of home baking was strong in Czechoslovakia and Lenka gave me this recipe for an enormous “hot cross bun” traditionally eaten in on Good Friday.

As this is an enriched dough you will need to judge how long you leave it to rise for yourself. In a cold room it will naturally take longer. I’m afraid this part cannot be rushed so if you are in a hurry for your bread crank up the heating!  I have been trying an electric prover to help control the rising of my bread and whilst I was at first sceptical I have found, in this especially cold weather, the help the prover gives to be a god send.




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