I once stumbled upon this recipe for “beehive bread” and decided to give it a go! I have made it dozens of times since, tried out a few different things and decided to share it here. It’d be perfect for any bee themed party (or to brighten up those gloomy days!)
Adapted from FKF
For the glaze/syrup:
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
1 tbsp. honey
pinch of saffron
Boil the sugar, water and saffron together for a few minutes until it is slightly thickened. Remove from the heat and add the honey. Mix and set aside to cool completely. [Note: I have skipped this step a few times and the bread was still delicious!]
For the dough:
3½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
2 tbsp. milk powder (optional)
½ cup water (might use less)
3 tbsp. sugar
4 tbsp. oil
4 tbsp. melted butter
1½ tsp. instant yeast
½ tsp. salt
1 tbsp. yoghurt
And if you want to add a filling:
6-8 portions/triangles of cheese spread (La Vache Qui Rit/The Laughing Cow for example) or chocolate. (optional)
1. Sieve 3½ cups flour.. with a whisk. (Joy the Baker explains it here)
2. Add 3 tbsp. sugar, 1½ tsp. instant yeast and ½ tsp. salt. (And milk powder if you wish)
3. Add 4 tbsp. oil, 4 tbsp. butter and 1 egg. Mix together.
4. Add 1 cup of milk and knead the dough for about 8-10 minutes.
In the original recipe it says gradually add the water a little at a time, however I often do not need any water and end up using more flour until the dough is nice and soft, and not sticky. The more you knead it the softer the buns will be.
5. Touch a bit of oil with your fingertips and apply all over the ball of dough. Cover in a bowl and set aside for 40 minutes to 1 hour for it to double in size.
6. Once doubled in size, punch the dough down, and break off tiny bits (you should get about 40 tiny pieces out of this) If you want to use a filling you take a piece of dough, stretch it out with your fingers and then add a small piece of cheese in its center. You then bring the edges together and form a ball so that the filling is completely enclosed within the dough. You can also choose not to fill them at all. (You can fill this bread with cheese, chocolate, anything really! Or just those two. Not at the same time, though. Unless you like that.)
7. Grease your pan/pans with butter. Place the balls of dough in a ‘honeycomb’ pattern. Try to get them close to each other so that there are no or very little spaces in between.
8. Cover the pans and set aside for a second rise, about half an hour.
9. Make the egg wash: two different ways, either you beat 1 egg with 1 tsp. of milk, or you could also beat 1 egg with 1 tbsp. of yoghurt. Apply the egg wash on the balls of dough.
10. Preheat your oven to 180˚C (F) and bake for about 20-25 minutes or until the bread is nice and golden on top.
If you decide to apply syrup make sure to make it before starting on the bread. This way, the syrup can cool down. Once your bread is done and you take it out of the oven, apply the syrup straight away (you can pour it all over, or use a brush, or use less syrup.. or none!)