17 Apr 2014

Easter Fun #1

One of my favourite things about Easter is the Hot Cross Buns! I know you can basically buy them all year around but, to me,they never taste quiet the same than the ones you buy at Easter. Surprisingly enough, after all the Easters that I have experienced, I have never made them. So the other day I pulled on my apron, got out the flour and actually made some buns (even if it did take me ages)! 

To make 12 buns you will need: 
  • 2oz (50 g) Caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dried yeast
  • 1lb (450 g) plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon mixed spice*
  • 3oz (75 g) currants* 
  • 2oz (50 g) cut mixed peel*
  • 1 fl oz (40-55ml) warmed milk
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 2oz (50 g) melted butter   
For the crosses you will need:
  • 4oz (110 g) plain flour
  • 5 tablespoons of water    
For the glaze your will need:
  • 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar 
  • 2 tablespoons of water

1. First stir the caster sugar into 5 fl oz (150 ml) warm water, sprinkling in the yeast. Leave until a thick frothy 'beer' head forms (Warning: will smell disgusting!)

2. Meanwhile sift the flour, salt and mixed spice into a mixing bowl and add the left over 2 oz (50 g) of sugar, the currants and mixed peel. Make a well in the centre of this, pouring in the yeast mixture plus 1½ fl oz (40 ml) of warm milk and the beaten egg and the melted butter. 

3. Now mix it to a dough with your hands using a wooden spoon to help you at the begining
Transfer the dough on to a clean surface and knead it until it is smooth and stretchable. This should take about 6 minutes.

4. Then put it back into the original bowl, cover the top with cling film and leave it in a warm place for an hour, until it has double in size. It should be about this large:

5. Turn this out and knead again, back down its original size.

6. Divide the mixture into 12 round portions, spacing them out on a greased baking tray like this so they have room to expand:

7. Put these to one side and make the crosses using a simple flour-and-water paste. Mix together until it turns to a pale dough. Roll this out and cut into small strips, brushing the buns and the strips with water to make them stick:

8. You may have some excess paste left at the end which you can simple cut off and roll out again.

9. Leave the dough to rise, again covering with cling film, for about 25 mins. They will now begin to look more like hot cross buns

10. Bake the buns for just under 15 mins in the oven at gas mark 7, 425°F (220°C). Keep an eye on them as they will burn really easily at this high temperature as I found out:

11. While they are cooking, melt the ingredients for the glaze over a low heat. Brush the buns with this as soon as they come out of the oven to make them nice and shiny. 

12. This yummy Easter treat is best served hot with butter. Arrange on a plate and let the family tuck in! 

"What do you get when you pour boiling hot water down a rabbit hole?"


Happy Easter,
Love Beth xx 

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