It's the world's first Easter Friday in lockdown. I admire all the bakeries who are continuing to safely deliver hot cross buns to eager breadaholics at this time. But if there's no service near you, why not try to bake your own treats? This is my kind of Easter baking. I much prefer apricots to raisins so have used these in my cinnamon swirl loaf. You can replace with any dried fruit you like.

3 c flour

3 tbsp granulated sugar

2 1/4 tsp dried yeast

1 1/4 tsp salt

1 c milk

4 tbsp salted

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 c chopped apricots, soaked in hot water for 10 min

1 egg mixed with 1 tbsp water for egg wash

For the filling:

1/3 c brown sugar

2 tbsp flour

2 tbsp cinnamon

Mix the flour, sugar, yeast and salt in a large bowl. Heat the milk in a small saucepan until just bubbling on the edges. Take off heat and stir in butter until melted. The liquid needs to be between 45-52C for the yeast to activate. 

Pour the liquid into the flour mixture and mix until a dough forms. Turn out onto a clean surface and knead for 8-10 min until smooth and elastic and the dough passes the windowpane test (tear a piece of dough and stretch it between your fingers; it should spread apart into a thin membrane, not rip into pieces).

Clean and oil your bowl, place dough inside and cover with cling film or a tea towel. Place in a warm spot until doubled in size, 1-2 hours.

Mix all the filling ingredients in a small bowl. Lightly grease a loaf tin.

Punch down dough and roll out to a long rectangle 12cm x 46cm. Brush with egg wash then evenly sprinkle over the filling, Drizzle with a bit more egg wash. Starting from a short side, roll up the dough tightly. Pinch the bottom seam to seal and pinch in the ends. Place seam side down in the loaf tin. Press on dough to flatten and fill the tin evenly. Cover with a tea towel and let rise for 1 hour.

Heat the oven to 180C. When dough has risen sufficiently, brush the top with egg wash. Bake for 40-45 min until cooked through. Insert a stick thermometer to ensure the bread has reached 190-200C inside.

Remove from oven and leave to cool in the tin for 20 min then turn onto a wire rack to cool completely. I was really pleased with the texture of this loaf. Next time I will try a double swirl. Once you've rolled the dough and sealed the ends position the dough with a short side facing you. Use a sharp knife to split the log down the middle, leaving the top inch in tact. Turn both sides cut side up and lift one side up and over the other twice to form a double twist, Pinch the ends together. Lift and place gently into your loaf tin.