Before I came to live in England, I had never heard of hot cross buns- but I have really grown to love these little buns with dried fruit and cinnamon and orange zest .They are really
tasty and quite fun to make- and absolutely delicious straight out of the oven with some fresh butter.And Simnel cake, basically a fruit cake with marzipan, is very festive and yummy and gets you really into the Easter spirit with a nice cup of tea.
Here are the is the recipe for
Hot cross buns.
This is an overnight recipe so the dough can rise- so remember to start the evening before!!
150 ml milk
50 gr butter
400 gr white flour
yeast : 2 x packet of dried yeast ( = 2 x 7 gr= 14 gr)
125 g mixed dried fruit
grated zest of 1 orange
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger powder
2 cardamom pods
Put the flour, yeast and dried fruit with the spices in a bowl.
Warm the milk with the butter, zest , clove and cardamom, melt the butter in the milk, then leave to let the flavours get into the milk.
Let milk cool till luke warm, then take the cardamom pods out. Beat in the egg, then add the whole of the milk and egg mixture to your flour mixture.Knead through till you have a nice elastic dough.This is best done by hand, as you can feel the dough change.Form into a ball then put in a covered bowl in the fridge overnight.
The next day, take out the dough out of the fridge and let it warm up- I usually use my airing cupboard- you need a warm-ish place with no draughts.The warming up will take at least 30 minutes.
Pre-heat the oven to 220 degrees Centigrade .
Knead the dough again til it feels smooth and elastic.Then spilt it into 16 ball, which you roll between the balls of your hands.Take an oven dish and line or butter it ,and put the litle balls on it. Cut a cross with an kitchen knife in the top of each ball.Cover the oven dish with a clean tea towel, then let it rise for 2 hours.
Take 1 egg and beat this into a small bowl, then cover the buns with the egg-wash on the top.
Take 3 tablespoons of flour , 1/2 tablespoon od sugar and dissolve this into 2 tablespoons of water, so you have a thick white paste.Use the end of a teaspooon to dribble this white paste as a white cross on top of the buns.
Bake in the pre-heated oven for 15 minutes.
Mix 1 tablespoon of sugar and 1 tablespoon of hot boiling water, and brush each bun withthe sticky mixture so the buns are all shiny, then ..
try not to eat them all at once !!