Hello Dear Reader,
These are supposed to be hot cross buns, well, crossless buns! I followed the Delia Smith recipe on line and realised, my oven is hotter than it says it is, that it cooks quicker than Delia’s oven and my flour is drier than hers and needed more milk! Next time, I’ll use a cooler oven, for less time and add more fluids!!!
I don’t ‘do’ Lent, I try to do with as little as I can for most of the time and I try to be good most of the time. However, when you make hot cross buns, you realise what a treat they are. They need butter, sugar, eggs, dried fruit and lots of spice. In times gone by, these would have been hugely expensive and wouldn’t have made it into a breakfast bread roll. Traditionally eaten on Good Friday……………can’t find out why! But after giving up such foods such as eggs and butter (i.e the goodies that go into pancakes on Shrove Tuesday) they must have been a real treat.
My home made sticky buns/hot cross-less buns, are nothing like the pappy air filled rubbish from the supermarket; they taste yeasty, fruity and bready. We ate ours in the morning sun, with some indulgent butter and a mug of tea. A wonderful, if a bit browned and mis-shapen, bank holiday treat.
Here is the recipe and method I used, with thanks to the patron saint of baking, Saint Delia!
Meanwhile sift the flour, and mixed spice into a mixing bowl and add the remaining 2 oz (50 g) of sugar, the currants and mixed peel. Then make a well in the centre, pour in the yeast mixture plus 1½ fl oz (40 ml) of milk (again hand-hot), the beaten egg and the melted butter. Now mix it to a dough, starting with a wooden spoon and finishing with your hands (add a spot more milk if it needs it).
Then transfer the dough on to a clean surface and knead it until it feels smooth and elastic – about 6 minutes. Now pop it back into the bowl, cover the bowl with a lightly oiled plastic bag, and leave it in a warm place to rise – it will take about an hour to double its original size. Then turn it out and knead it again, back down to its original size.
Divide the mixture into 12 round portions, arrange them on the greased baking sheet (allowing plenty of room for expansion), and make a deep cross on each one with a sharp knife. Leave them to rise once more, covering again with the oiled polythene bag, for about 25 minutes. Meanwhile pre-heat the oven to gas mark 7, 425°F (220°C).
Bake the buns for about 15 minutes. Then, while they’re , melt the sugar and 2 tablespoons of water for the glaze over a gentle heat and brush the buns with it as soon as they come out of the oven, to make them nice and sticky.