|From Adriana Baking|
Most years when I have a birthday party, I don’t think about what presents I am going to get. My birthdays have always just been a day filled with friends and laughter. We go on our annual treasure hunt, eat my birthday trifle, and I open the presents towards the end.
I know that most of my friends don’t know what to get me as a birthday present. And I know that they will not take “nothing” as an answer. I personally would be happy with just their presence, not their presents. So most years, I get quite a few presents that I don’t know what to do with. This year was different. This year, I have a new hobby. Baking. When asked what I wanted for my birthday, I was ready. I think my friends were happy; they had an idea of what I wanted.
Among the cookbooks that I got this year, there was one with a picture of hot cross buns on the cover that my friend K gave me. They looked really fluffy and moist, and would be just in time for Good Friday today, when they are traditionally eaten. I have to admit, I have not been able to make a dinner roll yet that I have been pleased with. I’ve tried recipes from The Joy of Cooking, and a recipe from Pioneer Woman’s website. They are either too hard, too heavy, or just not good.
So I was hesitant to try and make these hot cross buns. I was especially careful when measuring the flour. I even used my scale. Hot cross buns usually have raisins in them, but I cannot stand the feel of cooked raisins going down my throat. Neither can the rest of my family. I looked around, and found some leftover Craisins from when I made biscotti the last time. Craisins would be perfect, I thought. And they were. They added a delicious sweetness to the buns, but were also tart.
|From Adriana Baking|
I am happy to say that these buns were a success. My family loved them, and they are almost all gone.
Instead of piping a flour paste cross on them like the recipe suggests, I piped on a sugar icing. The buns are not very sweet, so the icing was very good.
|From Adriana Baking|
Recipe adapted from The Australian Women’s Weekly Breads & Muffins
2x7g sachets of granulated yeast (4 1/2 teaspoons)
1/4 cup (55g) caster sugar ( make your own by grinding a 1/4 cup of regular granulated sugar in the food processor).
1 1/2 cups (375 ml) warm milk
4 cups (600g) plain flour
1 teaspoon mixed spices
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (I also added a 1/4 teaspoon of ground cardamom).
60g butter (4 tablespoons)
3/4 cup (120 g) sultanas
Flour Paste for Crosses (I made a sugar icing out of confectioner’s sugar and enough milk to reach a pourable consistency).
1/2 cup (75g) plain flour
2 teaspoons caster sugar
1/3 cup (80 ml) water, approximately
Glaze (Instead of using the glaze, I whisked one egg white with a tablespoon of milk).
1 tablespoon caster sugar
1 teaspoon gelatine
1 tablespoon water
1. Combine yeast, sugar and milk in a small bowl ; cover, stand in a warm place for about 10 minutes until mixture is frothy.
2. Sift flour and spices together into a large bowl, run in butter. Stir in yeast mixture, egg, and sultanas; mix to a soft sticky dough. Cover, and stand in a warm place about 45 minutes until doubled in size.
3.Grease a 23cm square cake pan. (You definitely want to line you cake pan with greased parchment paper, I had trouble with mine sticking to the pan. Also, I only made 14 buns out of the dough, and used a much bigger pan).
4. Turn dough onto a floured surface, knead about five minutesor until smooth. Divide dough into sixteen pieces, knead into balls. Place balls into prepared pan, cover,stand in a warm place for 10 minutes or until buns have risen to the top of the pan.
5. Preheat oven to 400 F, or 22o C.
6. Place flour paste for crosses in a pipping bag fitted with a small plain tip, and pipe crosses.
7. bake buns in the oven for 20 minutes or until well browned. Turn buns onto wire rack, brush tops with hot glaze, and cool.
Flour Paste for Crosses:
Combine flour and sugar in bowl. Gradually mix in enough of the water to form a smooth paste.
Combine ingredients in a small saucepan; stir over heat, without boiling, until sugar and gelatin are dissolved.
Store buns in an airtight container for up to 2 days. the unbaked buns are suitable to freeze for up to 3 months.