Here we are with the second of the Easter baking treats. My chickens have gone berserk and are laying between the eight of them, seven eggs a day. I give away what I can to friends but I am struggling to keep up so this year I'm including an egg in whatever recipe I can, hence hot cross buns enriched with an egg, why not. The difference between these intensely scented, light buns and the things that are sold in supermarkets, is huge. As with all things, if you are going to the effort of making things to eat and share, generosity is key, leave cost cutting to the commercial sector. These will taste wonderful even if you use bought candied peel, but the extra burst of orange you get from using candied orange peel that you make, is well worth the effort, click here for the recipe.
|And Slovenia, country number 87!|
For this recipe you will need,
500g of strong white flour
50g of light muscovado sugar
10g of fast action yeast
100g of softened unsalted butter
150ml of milk
150ml of water
10g of salt
2 teaspoons of mixed spice
1/2 teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg
200g of mixed dried fruit, I use golden sultanas, green raisins and brown raisins.
80g of candied orange peel.
100ml of tea for soaking the fruit.
For the cross
200g of plain flour and just enough water to make a paste.
a little sugar syrup to glaze (equal parts sugar and water dissolved and brought up to a boil before cooling)
Begin by soaking the fruit, a tip here is to place the fruit and the tea in the microwave for 3 minutes to give the soaking process a boost. Add the spice and leave to soak for up to 24 hours.
Make the dough by mixing together the flour, yeast, sugar, egg, salt, milk and water to form a soft dough. with the mixer on a high speed gradually beat in the softened butter until it has been completely incorporated. Leave to rise for a couple of hours. Add the soaked fruit and mix only until the fruit is evenly distributed, roughly a minute on a medium speed. Leave the dough to rise for a couple of hours, the time will vary according to how warm your kitchen is. Divide the dough into 12 to 16 balls and leave to rise until well risen. The buns should be at least double in size before baking. The last thing to do before placing in a hot oven 200C for 15 to 18 minutes is to pipe the cross on the top. Brush the baked buns with a little sugar syrup to glaze.
I keep the sugar syrup that I poach pears in, which has been flavoured with cinnamon and star anise, just for this sort of purpose, glazing a spicy bun or cake that has just come out of the oven but a simple sugar syrup will also work.
I found weighing each bun to be roughly 100g when shaping, I ended up with 14 hot cross buns.