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March 25, 2013 | by  | in Opinion |
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Food & Drink – The Sweet Scoop: Hot Cross Buns

Since Easter is less than a week away, it’s definitely hot cross bun time. Easter’s a great holiday: you get chocolate, you can make hot cross buns, and there’s no chance of hearing ‘Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer’. Although supermarkets stock these, homemade buns — sweet, warm, spicy, covered in
butter—are far more delicious.

If you’ve never baked with yeast before, don’t be scared. Always use fresh yeast (not the jar the last tenants left), check the expiry date, and once opened, store in the fridge. When rising the buns, leave them somewhere warm, like by a sunny window (Aro valley-ers could hop in a sleeping bag with it). Any liquid ingredients should be around blood temperature. If they are above 60°C, it will kill the yeast. Once you’ve got these points down, the rest is easy.

 

Hot cross buns

makes 15

The buns:
275 mL tepid water
1 tablespoon + 1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon yeast
3 1/2 cups flour
2/3 cup currants
1/2 cup sultanas
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cloves
75 g mixed glacé peel
25 g butter
1/2 cup milk

The crosses:
3 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon sugar
4 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon water

The glaze:
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons water

To start, place 150 mL of tepid water together with the yeast and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Leave in a warm place for about 15 minutes. meanwhile, prepare dry ingredients by mixing flour, fruit, sugar and spices until fully combined. melt butter, and mix the remaining warm water with the milk. by now, the yeast mix should have formed a brown foam on top. Pour yeast mix, the milk and water, and melted butter into the dry ingredients, switching between the three and mixing as you go. knead the dough on a floured surface for ten minutes. Place in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and leave to rise for 40 minutes. Once risen, knead for another minute, then cut into 15 pieces. Having preheated the oven to 180°C, place on a baking tray, and rise for 30 minutes.

If you want crosses, mix all ingredients together. Put in a clean plastic bag, and make a small hole in the bottom. Use this to pipe crosses onto the top of your buns. bake until golden brown. If you wish to glaze the buns, boil the sugar and water together, then spoon over the cooked buns.

 

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