Saturday, 30 March 2013

Happy Easter (and some Hot Cross Buns)

I've never been very fond of shop bought Hot Cross Buns.  They promise so much, (warm, gently spiced buns sound soo enticing) but are generally disappointing - flaccid beige affairs with too many soggy sultanas.

This year I decided to take the plunge and bake my own.  I'd been wary of making them because it involves cooking with yeast.  I've always believed this to be very tricky but turns out it's not that hard.  You just have to be patient and give the dough time to rise (or prove as I believe the professionals call it).

So without much further ado.

Ta da!  Here they are...

Absolutely delicious with butter (bang goes the diet!)

We tried fooling around drawing shapes on the second batch.  My attempt at a cat's face on the top right bun was less than successful!

I used this recipe from the BBC Good Food Guide website but with a few alterations of my own.  After reading the user comments I added a lot more spices - 1/2 a teaspoon of ginger; 1/2 a teaspoon of mixed spice; a good sprinkling of nutmeg and doubled the quantity of cinnamon.  Next time I think I'll double those quantities.  The recipe recommends glazing with apricot jam but I didn't have any so I used a mixed of Golden Syrup and water gently heated on the stove.  That worked very well.  I brushed it on whilst the buns were still warm and it really sunk in.

Most importantly though the cooking time says 20 minutes.  I checked after 10 minutes and took them out after 12-14.  I think that if you left them in for the whole 20 minutes, you'd just end up with a tray of inedible cinders.  

Also note that the recipe states 'preparation time 30 mins' and it's only when reading the recipe that you realise there's also 3 hours of proving time involved to let the dough rise.  

Happy Easter everyone!  x


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