Friday, 29 March 2013

Hot Cross Buns

A tradition in some places. Not a tradition in others. In St. Paul's, we get this after Good Friday service. They're delicious little morsels of joy after a three-hour sit down in church. I've been meaning to make them for years, but somehow never got around to it. Here they are now in all their wholemeal-ly glory.

I made mine with wholemeal flour as that was what I had on hand. Was too lazy to pop out to make a special purchase of organic unbleached white bread flour, so made the best of the lovely Doves Farm Organic Strong Wholemeal Flour which was part of my inheritance. 

I found a workable recipe here. It uses only wholemeal flour and not half-and-half like some of the other recipes I found online. I didn't feel guilty eating these fresh from the oven or even toasted and slathered with good Irish butter and homemade strawberry jam. They were remarkably lush and lovely.

However, I did feel that the flavour of the spices didn't quite shine through. Perhaps it was because of the nuttiness of the wholemeal flour, perhaps it needed more than the recommended amount of spices I don't know. I do know that when I make them again I will be more generous with the spices, mixed peel and golden raisins as well as add a teeny bit of vanilla essence to it for a certain je ne sais quoi. 

My aunt brought home some shop made Hot Cross Buns from church this afternoon. Have a look.

How were they? Made from brown flour I think instead of wholemeal. They were lighter, slightly stickier, sweeter and spicier than mine with a yeasty aftertaste. Mine were denser, not sticky, less sweet and not so spicy fragrant. One looks refined, the other looks like it walked out of the middle ages. Some points to improve on the next time? 

Here they are side by side toasted and slathered with butter and jam.  

Guess what's for breakfast tomorrow??

Hot cross buns! Hot cross buns! 
One a penny two a penny 
Hot cross buns,
If you have no daughters give them to your sons, 
One a penny two a penny 
Hot cross buns!
Old English Nursery Rhyme

Adapted from Coffee Muffins

450g organic Strong Wholemeal Flour
14g instant Yeast
50g Caster Sugar
1 teaspoon Mixed Spice
1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon Sugar
130g Golden Raisins
130g Mixed Peel
Grated zest of 1 Orange

150ml Warm Milk
50ml Warm Water
1 Egg, lightly beaten
50g melted Butter

4 tablespoons Plain Flour mixed with a little Water to make a stiff paste

2 tablespoons Orange Juice mixed with a little Icing Sugar to make a glaze

Place the Flour, Yeast, Sugar, Spices, Golden Raisins, Mixed Peel and Zest together in a large bowl. Mix through with your hands to ensure everything is mixed evenly.

Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredient and pour in the Milk, Water, Egg and Butter. Mix into a dough. Scrape out onto a clean work top and knead until elastic for about 10 - 15 minutes. Add in a little more Milk if necessary in stages if the dough is too stiff to work with.

Place dough into a clean, buttered bowl . Cover with a damp tea towel and leave to rest in a warm place for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. 

Once risen and double in size, remove from bowl and gently knock out the air. Knead gently for a few minutes and split dough into 12 pieces. Shape the pieces into balls, place onto a lightly buttered baking tray and flatten slightly.

With a sharp knife cut a cross in each one. Rest for about 20 minutes till risen again. 

Put the ready-mixed paste into a piping bag and pipe into the cross indents.

Bake at 175 Celsius for about 15 minutes until done. Remove from the oven and brush with glaze while still hot.
Put back into the oven for 5 minutes with only the top heat on so the tops get nice and brown. Remove from the oven, let it cool (or not) and eat toasted with butter and jam.

Good Friday: My offering

Before the throne of God above
I have a strong and perfect plea.
A great high Priest whose Name is Love
Who ever lives and pleads for me.
My name is graven on His hands
My name is written on His heart.
I know that while in heaven He stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart.

When Satan tempts me to despair
And tells me of the guilt within.
Upward I look and see Him there
Who made an end of all my sin.
Because the sinless Saviour died
My sinful soul is counted free.
For God the just is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me.

Behold Him there the risen Lamb
My perfect spotless righteousness.
The great unchangeable I AM
The King of Glory and of grace.
One in Himself I cannot die
My soul is purchased by His blood.
My life is hid with Christ on high
With Christ my Saviour and my God. 
Charitie L. Bancroft