With Good Friday right around the corner I was looking forward to trying out my hot cross bun recipe I devised last year. One of the things I really missed while living in the States was the fact I couldn't pop down to the local supermarket and grab a packet of hot cross buns.
Yes Americans celebrate Easter and have a fabulous array of chocolates (mind you I could never get use to Hershies no matter how hard I tried), but they lacked in the sweet bun section. I could of gone to Whole Foods and paid a small fortune for some average buns or I could make my own. After looking through recipe books and on line I was getting the same message, make the dough a day in advance. I was in the mood to bake then and there, who would know if I was going to feel like it the next day.
I decided to combine a few methods, hurry up the proving process and see what happens. I figured the worse that could happen was they would be terrible, I wouldn't be able to give them away and the boys and I would be stuck eating crappy buns for the next week.
I was ecstatic to find at the end of my playing around that in fact the buns were delicious and were probably the best buns I had made. So with this memory at hand yesterday I began looking for the piece paper I wrote the recipe down on. At this point I really needed to give myself a good kick up the bum for only partly writing out the recipe. For some reason I seem to think I'll remember ALL my recipes for the next time and never write them down in a legible hand- you'd think I'd learn after being at this for over a decade!
Anyway this batch came out pretty darn well except my oven is a piece of c..... and the bottoms were a little too brown for me to show them off, so looks like the boys and I are taking our hot cross buns on our camping trip- YIPPEE!!
HAPPY EASTER YA'LL
Camilla's Easter buns
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons dried yeast (a lot I know)
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1/3 cup butter, melted
11/2 teaspoons cinnamon, ground
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, grated
5 cups plain flour (all purpose)
1 cup raisins
1/3 cup dried apricots, chopped
Warm milk and sprinkle with yeast, use 1 teaspoon on your sugar and add to milk, stir then rest for five minutes.
In a large bowl add remaining sugar, salt, butter, cinnamon, nutmeg and eggs.
Stir with a wooden spoon to mix thoroughly.
Pour in milk mixture (making sure it is foamy) and gradually add flour.
When you have formed a dough ball, sprinkle bench with a little flour and knead for 5 minutes.
Sprinkle clean bowl with flour and place the dough in and cover. Place in a warm spot and rest for one hour (or until it doubles in size).
Remove plastic, punch dough, add dried fruit and knead again for 5-8 minutes.
Cut dough in half and then half again and then each piece of dough into six, making a total of 24 small pieces.
Roll each piece into a ball shape, place on a large oven tray lined with a baking mat, allowing 1-cm between each ball for a bit of rising action.
When all the ball are on the tray, cover again an place back in warm area. Allow to double in size approx 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 200 degree
Before popping the tray into oven, make a cross on each ball with a sharp knife.
Cook for ten minutes the drop the temperature to 180 and cook for a further 10-15 minutes.
Remove from oven, Make your cross glaze (1 1/4 cups icing sugar mixed with 2 tablespoons milk, stir to combine well) and drizzle on the top of buns in a cross figure.
Just before you leave them alone, make a simple syrup of 2 tablespoons boiling water and 2 tablespoons of sugar, mix until dissolved then brush the tops of buns.
They should look like the once above.
Good Luck, they are well worth the effort.
Gradually add flour