Hot Cross Buns Part 2

April 6, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Posted in Eating and Drinking | 3 Comments
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This is the third year of hot cross bun baking in the FFS kitchen. I’ve been trying different recipes each year in my quest for perfection. Last year it was Delia’s; the year before I actually can’t remember although I do remember burning them slightly (the buns were hot, I was cross).

Baking guru Dan Lepard’s hot cross buns have an exciting addition of cider, so perhaps I’ll try these next year. He also has a more complex recipe involving making a dough and a sponge – definitely one to work up to I think. Anyway, Hot Cross Buns Twenty Twelve were courtesy of Edd Kimber and Waitrose Kitchen magazine (the recipe is also available online here).

They were easy to make and were spicy and orange-zesty with a nice soft crumb and a sticky golden syrup glaze. The cross method (a quite runny mix of water and flour) produced a better cross shape than Delia’s method which involved rolling out pieces of dough and laying them on top of the buns (too hard when baked). This year I got to use a piping bag and nozzle – hooray! I hope Joan the Cook would be proud of me. Now I must resist eating any more…at least until breakfast time tomorrow.


Hot Cross Buns, Mk II

April 22, 2011 at 10:36 am | Posted in Eating and Drinking, Joan the Cook | 3 Comments

The making and eating of hot cross buns on Good Friday has now joined my list of seasonal traditions. Last year’s were tasty but not as Biblically risen as I would have hoped. This time round I’m following the trusty Delia’s recipe which is available online but reproduced here, with some minor changes, for convenience. To stay in keeping with my Famous Five time period, I’m giving Imperial measurements only.

Hot Cross Buns

2 oz caster sugar, plus 1 level tsp

1 level tbsp of dried yeast

1lb of plain white flour (I used half and half plain and strong white bread flour)

1 level tsp salt

I heaped tsp of mixed spice

5 oz of mixed dried fruits and peel

1 ½- 2 fl oz hand-warm milk

1 egg, beaten

2 oz butter, melted

For the crosses

2 oz plain flour

2-3 tbsp water

For the glaze

2 tbsp of granulated sugar

2 tbsp water


Stir the tsp of caster sugar into 5 fl oz of hand-hot water. Add the dried yeast, give a quick stir and leave to sit for ten minutes or so until it froths.

Meanwhile, sift the flour, salt and mixed spice into a large mixing bowl. Mix in the sugar and dried fruits [At this point Joan the Cook would maybe slip a raisin or two to Mischief the Monkey]. Make a well in the centre and pour in the yeast mixture and then the warm milk, beaten egg and melted butter. Mix, first with a wooden spoon and then with your hands (add a little more flour or more milk if the mixture is too wet or dry). Turn the dough out onto the table and knead for about 6 minutes, until it is smooth and elastic.

Return to the bowl and cover with a piece of lightly oiled cling film. Leave to rise for an hour or so, until the mixture is doubled in size. Turn it out and knead again so the dough returns to its original size.

Divide the mixture into 12 round portions and arrange them on a baking sheet on top of a piece of greaseproof paper, allowing room for them to expand. Using a sharp knife cut a deep cross on each bun. For the crosses mix the flour and water together, roll out and cut into thin strips and arrange in crosses on the top of the buns. I’ve halved the quantities Delia gives as I ended with far too much cross mixture.

Leave to rise for another 25 minutes. Pre-heat the over the gas mark 7/425ºf/220ºc. Bake the buns for about 15 minutes. While they are in the oven make the sugar glaze by melting the sugar and water together. Brush this over the buns as soon as they come out of the oven to make them nice and sticky.

Easter Hols and Hot Cross Buns

April 2, 2010 at 12:07 pm | Posted in Dick, Eating and Drinking | 3 Comments
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Hurrah for the Easter holidays! Two of my favourite Famous Five adventures (Five go to Smuggler’s Top and Five on Kirrin Island Again) take place over the Easter break, and even without adventures it’s lovely to have a long weekend at this time of year.

In honour of the ever-hungry Dick, and of Jesus, I am baking hot cross buns today (like our Saviour they are hopefully rising as I type this). These fruity, lightly spiced buns are traditionally made and eaten on Good Friday; Steven Jenkins, spokesperson for the Church of England says that they ‘are fairly full of Christian symbolism…You have got the bread, as per the communion, you have got the spices that represent the spices Jesus was wrapped in in the tomb, and you have got the cross.’

This BBC News piece discusses the disputed roots of the hot cross bun (variously suggested as Pagan, Jewish, Roman and Saxon in origin) and their transition from a seasonal treat to one that is available all year round, and in various guises – you can now buy orange and cranberry, apple and cinnamon and even (yuk!) toffee hot cross buns. Here are my more trad buns pre- and post-baking. I haven’t quite got the hang of yeast cookery yet but they tasted quite good nevertheless.

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