Hot Cross Buns

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RECIPE: One of the best things about Easter is Hot Cross Buns. While some are strict about only eating them on Easter week, I have to admit to indulging in them from when they first appear on the shelves, although I do refuse to eat them in January, so soon after Christmas. The only changes I made to the recipe was to use dry yeast instead of fresh, as I haven’t found a source of fresh yeast, and I didn’t have any mixed peel (not a huge fan), so used a mixture of currants, sultanas, raisins and a tablespoon of chunky marmalade. I also used some crystallised ginger instead of stem ginger – completely different I know, but at least I still got the ginger flavour.

COMPONENTS: My dough hook wouldn’t pick up the mix properly, so I had to stir it first to combine the mix. As I’ve said I adjusted the combination of dried fruit. The recipe is very clear and following the steps was uncomplicated. The mix for the cross is twice as much as you need, and since a flour paste isn’t something you’re likely to use again, I threw the remaining mix in the bin. I had leftover glaze in the fridge, so didn’t make more.

ASSEMBLY: The buns were very easy to shape, and the dough didn’t stick to anything, so were quickly popped on the tray. The instructions said to make each one 120g, but the total mix provided a bakers dozen – not an easy number to lay out on a tray. I wish I’d put them closer together so they pressed together a bit more. Once they had proved again, I put my cross paste into a zip-lock bag and cut off the corner to pipe the crosses, which all went to plan. I warmed up the glaze from the fridge and brushed it on after baking the buns.

IMPRESSION: A heavenly smell spread through the house, and a very happy husband consumed them fresh from the oven. I thought they could have done with more spice, and I wish I’d been able to use fresh yeast, because I think when you substitute instant dried yeast it never gets the same rise.

Recipe from Bread, Cake, Doughnut, Pudding by Justin Gellatly

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