Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Hot Cross Buns & A Belated Happy Easter

Being Easter of course I had to make my first ever batch of hot cross buns & what better book to look to for the recipe but Nigella Lawson’s Feast of course. Traditionally they are meant to be eaten on Good Friday however I made them for Easter Sunday as that’s when the family was getting together for a picnic & I wanted to share them (read – not eat the whole batch myself). The fact that you make the dough the night before I loved as with little Missy on my hands these days, recipes done in stages are better than long drawn out sessions in the kitchen which would be interrupted by a hungry baby no doubt & of course the baby does come first! In the end the flavour was pretty darn good with all the extra’s, ie cardamom & cloves though due to my own stupidity (I misread & didn’t notice the ‘let come to room temperature first ‘ bit) I think my dough was a little on the hard & chewy side & possibly could have risen a bit more if I had followed the recipe correctly. They still rocked, especially when first out of the oven, later I tried them at room temp – nice & in the microwave – even better I think so all in all pretty good & much nicer than the store bought variety by far.

Hot Cross Buns

150ml milk
50g butter
zest of 1 orange
1 clove
2 cardamom pods
400g bread flour
1 packet easy blend yeast 97g)
125g mixed dried fruit
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
1 egg

Egg Wash
1 egg, beaten with a little milk

For the crosses
3 tablespoons plain flour
½ tablespoon caster sugar
2 tablespoons water

Sugar Glaze
1 tablespoon caster sugar
1 tablespoon boiling water

Heat the milk, butter, orange zest, clove & cardamom pods in a saucepan until the butter melts, then leave to infuse.

Measure the flour, yeast & dried fruit into a bowl & add the spices. When the infused milk has reached blood temperature take out the clove & cardamom pods & beat in the egg. Pour this liquid into the bowl of dry ingredients.

Knead the dough either by hand or with a machine with a dough hook. If it is too dry add a little more milk or water. Keep kneading until you have silky, elastic dough but bear in mind that the dried fruit will stop this from being exactly satin smooth. Form into a ball & place in a buttered bowl covered with cling film, & leave to prove overnight in the fridge.

Preheat the oven to 220c. Take the dough out of the fridge & let it come to room temperature.

Punch the dough down, and knead it again until it is smooth & elastic. Divide into 16 balls & shape into smooth round buns.

Sit the buns on an oven tray lined with baking paper. Make sure they are quite snug together but not touching. Using the back of an eating knife, score the tops of the buns with the imprint of a cross. Cover with a tea towel & leave to prove again for about 45 minutes – they should have risen & almost joined up.

Brush the buns with the egg wash, then mix the flour, sugar & water into a smooth thick paste. Using a teaspoon, dribble two lines over the buns in the indent to make a cross, then bake for 15-20 minutes.

When they come out of the oven, mix the sugar & boiling water, and brush each bun to make then sweet & shiny.


Jessy said...

Hey, since you're in Melbourne as well I was just wondering where do you get your bread flour from? Or are you just using the Lauke ones from Safeway? I've been wanting to try some recipes but it's hard to find bread flours here unless I use the premixed ones or Lauke (which I find has less protein than usual bread flours).

Thanks in advance for your help. :)

Ange said...

Hi Jessy - At the moment I'm afraid to say I', just buying my bread flour from Safeway in Brunswick though the last lot was 'Mollini' fine Italian 00 flour