Right on cue for the long Easter weekend (five days, aren’t we lucky!), we have been experiencing some lovely weather. Bright days full of warm, golden sunshine!
The munchkin went for the Good Friday Mass with her dad yesterday and had a wonderful time. She made her dad read 2 books to her during the mass (the church has a kids area), chatted to people around her, jumped up and down pews and came home, a very happy bunny <3
She has been super excited about spending time at home for Easter and I have been planning various activities with her.There is an Easter Egg Hunt on the cards tomorrow, so I’m going to have a very hyper kid on my hands!
The other thing that has her exhilarated about Easter is the idea of Hot Cross Buns. She’s been asking for them since she saw some while I was Pinteresting (that should be a word, shouldn’t it?)
I guess Easter isn’t complete without a batch of these lovely, sticky, spiced delights, so this morning, I set about making them. I’ll admit it is a long process, but most of that time is spent waiting: waiting for the milk to be infused with spices, waiting for the dough to prove…
But the end result is worth it. Gorgeous, soft, spongy buns with a hint of spice and a lovely crust, to be enjoyed slathered with honey and butter! Easter mornings don’t get better than this 😀
I need to work on those crosses though, I found that the trickiest part. The paste for piping the cross tends to go all over the place if you are not careful. Next year, I’ll try making the cross with some sweet pastry dough, should look much better.
Also the initial kneading of the wet dough is a lot faster if you have a mixer with a dough hook. The dough is supposed to be very wet. Don’t be tempted to add a lot more flour, otherwise you will end up with ‘hot cross rocks’. A bit tricky, but homemade bread takes time and practice, as I am still learning
I used this recipe from The Guardian, as it uses fresh yeast (that’s what I usually find here) and it also has some interesting tips and options from famous chefs. Plus it is a funny post, you should check it out!
What about you guys? Have you ever made these? Do you have any special Easter traditions? I would love to hear from you! Hope you have a blessed Easter 😀
Here’s the recipe (adapted from The Guardian)
Hot Cross Buns
200 ml Milk, plus a little more for glazing
3 Cardamom Pods, bruised
1 Cinnamon stick
¼ tsp grated Nutmeg
Pinch of Saffron
20 grams Fresh Yeast
50 grams Golden Caster sugar (I used regular granulated sugar)
450 grams strong White Flour
100 grams Butter
½ teaspoon Salt
½ teaspoon ground Ginger
150 grams Currants (I used Raisins instead)
50 grams Mixed Peel (I skipped this, instead added 1 teaspoon Orange zest)
3 tablespoons Plain Flour
2 tablespoons Honey, for glazing
Heat milk gently in a pan along with the cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and saffron until just boiling, and then turn off the heat and leave to infuse for 1 hour.
Bring back up to blood temperature and then mix the strained milk with the yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar.
Tip the flour into a large mixing bowl and grate over the butter.
Rub in with your fingertips, or in a food mixer, until well mixed, and then add the rest of the sugar and the salt and ginger.
Beat together 2 of the eggs.
Make a well in the middle, and add the beaten eggs and the yeast mixture.
Stir in, adding enough milk to make a soft dough – it shouldn’t look at all dry or tough.
Knead for 10 minutes until smooth and elastic, then lightly grease another bowl, and put the dough into it.
Cover and leave in a warm place until it has doubled in size – this will probably take a couple of hours.
Tip it out on to a lightly greased work surface and knead for a minute or so, then flatten it out and scatter over the fruit and peel.
Knead again to spread the fruit around evenly, then divide into 16 equal pieces and roll these into bun shapes.
Put on lined baking trays and score a cross into the top of each, then cover and put in a warm place to prove until doubled in size.
Pre-heat the oven to 200 C and beat together the last egg with a little milk.
Mix the plain flour with a pinch of salt and enough cold water to make a stiff paste.
Paint the top of each bun with the egg wash, and then, using a piping bag or teaspoon, draw a thick cross on the top of each.
Put into the oven and bake for about 25 minutes until golden.
When the buns come out of the oven, brush them with honey before transferring to a rack to cool.
Eat with lots of butter.