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Easter Treats #3 8 April 2011

Posted by uggclogs in Baking, Easter, Happiness.
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It’s been a while since my last Easter Treats, but it’s ok, as Easter is still some time away.

Today, I am introducing an Australian classic – although I understand it may have British origins. Enjoy.

As I realise that some people are struggling with their doughs, I’ll give you a fool-proof way of making dough. If you are pretty set on how to make dough, or if you have your own method, skip ahead to the bold part (which is just after the second lot of rising the dough).

Hot Cross Buns

Ingredients:
– 40 g butter
– 300 ml milk
– 14 g dry yeast
– 50 g sugar
– 500 g flour (about)
– 1.5 tsp mixed spice
– pinch of salt
– 200 g dried currants (or raisins if you must, both are optional!)
– 2 eggs, lightly beaten

– 110 g plain flour
– 4-5 tbs water

– 2 tbs sugar
– 1/3 cup water

Makes 15, 190 degrees, 20-25 minutes

Method:
– Melt the butter in a small saucepan.
– Add the milk, and heat for about a minute, to make it luke warm.
– Tip: when you dip your pinky in the milk and butter mix, you should not feel heat or cold.
– Pour the milk and butter in a large bowl. Add the sugar. If you have fresh yeast, keep some of it aside, and crumble the yeast in until dissolved, then add to the rest of the mixture. With dry yeast, put it directly into the bowl.
– Tip: Adding the sugar to the lukewarm milk and butter will give you the optimal conditions for your yeast to grow. Yeast feeds on sugar, but salt retards it. Yeast, being a fungus, also likes 37 degrees, so the lukewarm milk kick starts the yeast function. If it is too cold, the yeast will take too long to rise the dough, if it is too warm, it will kill the yeast.
– Put 4 heaped tablespoons of the flour into a bowl, add the salt and mixed spice. Mix together. Doing this will ensure that the dough will be evenly spiced, and the slat will not cause the yeast to stop it’s process.
– Add the flour and spice mixture to the liquid mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon.
– Tip: at this point, the mixture will create big lumps. Don’t worry, you will knead these out later.
– Add the flour bit by bit, until it is too heavy to stir with the spoon.
– Tip the whole dough onto the bench.
– Add the currants (if using) and the egg, then start kneading the dough. Every time it starts sticking to your hands, add more flour.
– Knead until smooth.
– Place back in the bowl, and leave to rise in a warm, dry place for 1-1.5 hours, or until twice the size.
– Tip: Cover the bowl with a clean, wet kitchen towel (cloth) to prevent the top of the dough from drying out. Some prefer to use glad wrap for this.
– Knead quickly again, then divide into 12-15 pieces.
– Roll into buns, place on a baking paper clad baking tray, cover with the wet kitchen towel, and leave to rise for another 30 minutes. It’s ok to put them close enough that when they rise, they touch each other!
Turn on the oven to pre heat. If it is a very old oven, you may have to do this earlier.
– While you are waiting for the buns to rise, make the flour paste: mix the flour and water in a small bowl until smooth.
– Spoon the paste into a snap-lock bag. Snip off 1 corner of the bag, to create a piping-bag. If you have a piping bag, you can of course use it, only make sure you use a small sized piping tip. Pipe strips of paste over the buns to form crosses.
– Bake for 20-25 minutes, until they sound hollow when you tap them on the bottom.
– Make the glaze by adding sugar and water in a small saucepan on low heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves, then boil for 5 minutes. Brush the glaze over the hot crossed buns while they are still warm.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Hot cross buns are best when fresh, but they can also be frozen.

If you make the currant variety, and want to do something a little more fancy (but non-traditional, and some would say controversial!) you may want to ditch the glaze, and brush the tops of the buns with warm apricot jam.

Enjoy!

 

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Comments»

1. Hielke Kamps - 9 April 2011

Don’t forget the sucker bread


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