Too early?

Come festive season, I bear the brunt of family criticism.

First there was last Christmas, when my decorations went up early November. In my mind, there was sound rationale. I had one spare weekend and they take the best part of a day to sort. I love Christmas and feel ripped off if we can only enjoy them for a handful of days (like the year they went up 10 December – yes, I remember 2010).

Plus, over a six-week period, more people get to enjoy them. So I feel quite justified and will diarise a weekend to get them up this year. I’m not sure I feel as comfortable about Christmas at the mall in October and the overt commercialism though. But, a few decorations in the lounge can’t hurt.

When it comes to Easter, like everyone, I agree that selling Hot Cross Buns immediately post-Christmas is nuts. This year it was before store Christmas sales were over and decorations down. No excuses to blend the festivals.

My sister took exception when I posted photographs of my Hot Cross Buns late February. I do get that it was still summer and Easter is late this year. But, if new recipes are going to happen, they have to begin in plenty of time to get them right. And I’m pleased that I started early  as I have a new recipe to share.

My previous Hot Cross Bun recipe has always been a favourite – of mine and blog followers – but I reckon this one is better. It is based on my sweet dough recipe and I continue to advocate pre-soaking of dried fruit so it rehydrates and doesn’t suck the liquid from the dough. Always remember when working with spices that many do retard yeast, so it’s good to put some in with the fruit rather than lump it all in with the dry ingredients.

There’s still a few weeks to go until Easter, so give these a whirl now so you are ready for the office or family bake.

Ingredients

Fruit

50g dried apricots

75g sultanas or raisins

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground ginger

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

¼ cup boiling water

35g mixed peel

Dough

470g high grade flour

5g salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground ginger

25g fresh yeast (or 10g active dry yeast)

250ml lukewarm milk

2 Tbsp sugar

50g soft butter, chopped into cubes

1 egg (not a huge egg)

Crosses

4 tablespoons plain flour

1 tablespoon cornflour

½ teaspoon baking powder

5 tablespoons cold tap water

Glaze

Make up a sugar syrup with equal quantities caster sugar and water (eg 100g each). Pop into a pot and mix until the sugar melts and it comes to the boil. Boil for a minute or two and remove from heat. Will keep for ages in the fridge and make a good cocktail base too!

Method

20170226_150350

  1. Chop the apricots into small pieces. Pop them into a bowl. Add the sultanas and spices. Pour over the boiling water, mix, and cover for at least 20 minutes (overnight good).
  2. In a large mixing bowl, sieve together the flour, salt, cinnamon and ginger. Make a well in the center.20170226_151748
  3. Pour half of the milk into well. Into this, add one tablespoon of the sugar and crumble in the yeast (so the sugar and yeast go into the milk, not into the flour). Lightly sprinkle a little of the flour from the sides of the bowl on top of the yeast mixture.
  4. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and set aside until the yeast activates (around 10 minutes).
  5. Lightly whisk the egg, remaining sugar and milk. Add this to the yeast mixture.
  6. Bring the mixture together and knead for about five minutes. (You can do this in a stand beater – if so, it will take less time.) If you do this by hand, note that this is a stickier than usual mixture, do not be tempted to add lots of extra flour to the bench.20170315_120733
  7. Drain any excess liquid from the fruit mixture. Add in the mixed peel, then pour the fruit mix into the dough.
  8. Lightly sprinkle the bench with flour and knead for another five or so minutes until the dough is soft and smooth.
  9. When the mixture is smooth, knead in the butter a few cubes at a time.
  10. Spray the bowl with oil and put the kneaded dough in the bowl to prove. Cover bowl with cling film and a tea towel and set aside somewhere warm until doubled in size. Depending on temperature, it usually takes 45-60 minutes.
  11. Line one-two oven trays with baking paper.20170318_133244
  12. Lightly knock the dough back to expel the air.
  13. Scale (chop) dough into 12-14 even sized pieces.
  14. Roll each piece into “balls” and pop onto prepared trays. Cover with clingfilm and set aside to rise.
  15. Turn oven to 180-90°C fan bake.20170315_135334
  16. Make crosses mixture by combining the dry ingredients and mixing in the water to make a thick paste. Pop into a zip lock bag and snip off a little off one edge of the bag to make a piping bag.20170315_135613
  17. When buns have almost doubled in size, pipe on crosses and put trays into the hot oven.
  18. Bake for 15ish minutes until golden and cooked through.20170315_142549
  19. If desired, finish the buns with a sugar syrup glaze.

Hot Cross Buns- http://www.theundergroundbaker.com

  • Servings: 16
  • Print

Ingredients

Fruit

50g dried apricots

75g sultanas or raisins

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground ginger

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

¼ cup boiling water

35g mixed peel

Dough

470g high grade flour

5g salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground ginger

25g fresh yeast (or 10g active dry yeast)

250ml lukewarm milk

2 Tbsp sugar

50g soft butter, chopped into cubes

1 egg (not a huge egg)

Crosses

4 tablespoons plain flour

1 tablespoon cornflour

½ teaspoon baking powder

5 tablespoons cold tap water

Glaze

Make up a sugar syrup with equal quantities caster sugar and water (eg 100g each). Pop into a pot and mix until the sugar melts and it comes to the boil. Boil for a minute or two and remove from heat.

Method 

  1. Chop the apricots into small pieces. Pop them into a bowl. Add the sultanas and spices. Pour over the boiling water, mix, and cover for at least 20 minutes (overnight good).
  1. In a large mixing bowl, sieve together the flour, salt, cinnamon and ginger. Make a well in the centre.
  2. Pour half of the milk into well. Into this, add one tablespoon of the sugar and crumble in the yeast (so the sugar and yeast go into the milk, not into the flour). Lightly sprinkle a little of the flour from the sides of the bowl on top of the yeast mixture.
  3. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and set aside until the yeast activates (around 10 minutes).
  4. Lightly whisk the egg, remaining sugar and milk. Add this to the yeast mixture.
  5. Bring the mixture together and knead for about five minutes. (You can do this in a stand beater – if so, it will take less time.) If you do this by hand, note that this is a stickier than usual mixture, do not be tempted to add lots of extra flour to the bench.
  6. Drain any excess liquid from the fruit mixture. Add in the mixed peel, then pour the fruit mix into the dough.
  7. Lightly sprinkle the bench with flour and knead for another five or so minutes until the dough is soft and smooth.
  8. When the mixture is smooth, knead in the butter a few cubes at a time.
  9. Spray the bowl with oil and put the kneaded dough in the bowl to prove.
  10. Cover bowl with cling film and a tea towel and set aside somewhere warm until doubled in size. Depending on temperature, it usually takes 45-60 minutes.
  11. Line one-two oven trays with baking paper.
  12. Lightly knock the dough back to expel the air. Scale (chop) dough into 12-14 even sized pieces.
  13. Roll each piece into “balls” and pop onto prepared trays. Cover with clingfilm and set aside to rise.
  14. Turn oven to 180-90°C fan bake.
  15. Make crosses mixture by combining the dry ingredients and mixing in the water to make a thick paste. Pop into a zip lock bag and snip off a little off one edge of the bag to make a piping bag.
  16. When buns have almost doubled in size, pipe on crosses and put trays into the hot oven.
  17. Bake for 15ish minutes until golden and cooked through.
  18. If desired, finish the buns with a sugar syrup glaze.

 

2 thoughts on “Too early?

  1. Thanks for sharing your recipe!

    Shops here in New Zealand start selling Hot Cross Buns here right after Christmas too. I had my first bun last week and I think March is a good time to gorge if you love them.

    This post would make a great addition to Our Growing Edge, a link up just for new food adventures. It’s a fun way to share your new food experiences and flavours with other foodies and your post and link will be published in the group round up. This month’s theme is FAMILY FAVOURITES.

    Direct link to submit your post: http://www.inlinkz.com/wpview.php?id=697270
    More info here: http://bunnyeatsdesign.com/our-growing-edge/

    Like

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