March 30, 2015

Hot Cross Buns - Happy Easter!

Several hot cross buns on a white background

With Easter coming soon, I had a sudden envy for hot cross buns. Hot cross buns are traditionally eaten on Good Friday in the UK and other countries which were once British territories. They are delightful spicy and fruity buns, marked with a cross on the top. Many superstitions around hot cross buns are found in the English folklore; for instance, buns baked on Good Friday are supposed not to spoil or get mouldy in the following year. Buns taken on a boat would protect against shipwreck. Sharing a bun with a friend would ensure lasting friendship for the forthcoming year...

Whether you believe in the superstitions or not, baking hot cross buns is such a lovely activity to undertake, one in which you can involve children to help you, and therefore create family traditions, to repeat every year.

Daffodils flowers

The recipe below is barely adapted from one from Jamie Oliver and was a real success when we tried it. Make sure you eat one straight out of the oven while they are still warm, and the rest can be kept for a day or two (if they last that long) wrapped in a tea towel. 

Happy baking and have a beautiful week x

Two piles of hot cross buns

Hot Cross Buns – makes 12
Recipe barely adapted from Jamie Oliver’s 
•200ml milk of your choice
•3tsp active dried yeast
•55g butter
•200g light spelt flour
•250g semi-wholemeal bread flour + 2tbsp
•1tsp salt
•1tsp ground all spice
•1tsp ground cinnamon
•A pinch of ground nutmeg
•50g unrefined sugar
•1 large egg, beaten
•50g raisins
•40g dried cranberries
•Zest of 1 orange, finely grated
•Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
•3tsbp apricot jam

1.In a small saucepan, very gently heat the milk with 50ml water, until tepid. Take off the heat and mix in the yeast. Set aside.
2.Melt the butter in another saucepan.
3.In a large bowl, mix the flours (but the 2tbsp), salt, spices and sugar. Make a well in the centre and add the melted butter, the milk and yeast mixture and the beaten egg. Mix with a fork until the dough comes together, then transfer to a lightly floured work surface and knead the dough for 5-10min. Return the dough to an oiled bowl, cover with a slightly damp tea towel and leave to rise for at least an hour, or until doubled in size.
4.After that time, take the dough out of the bowl, place it on a work surface and knead it for another minute or so to knock the air out. Spread it and sprinkle the dried fruits and zests on top, then knead for a couple more minutes to incorporate them into the dough. 
5.Cover a baking tray with baking paper. Divide the dough into 12 little balls and place them well apart on the baking tray. Cover with a tea towel and leave to rise for another 30min.
6.Preheat the oven to 190°C. 
7.In a small bowl, mix the 2tbsp flour with 2tbsp water into a thick paste. With the help of a piping bag or spoon, trace a cross with the mixture on top of each bun. Place in the oven for 15-20min, until the buns are golden brown.
8.Gently heat the apricot jam in a small saucepan to liquefy it. As soon as the buns are out of the oven, transfer them to a wire rack and brush them with the apricot jam to glaze.
9.Enjoy still warm or cold, with a knob of butter.

Hot Cross Buns – pour 12 brioches
Recette très légèrement adaptée de Jamie Oliver

•200ml de lait de votre choix
•3cc de levure de boulanger
•55g de beurre
•200g de farine de petit épeautre
•250g de farine semi-complète à pain + 2cs
•1cc de sel
•1cc de cannelle moulue
•1cc de quatre-épices
•1 pincée de noix de muscade râpée
•50g de sucre non-raffiné
•1 gros œuf, battu
•50g de raisins secs
•40g de cranberries séchées
•Zest d’1 citron
•Zeste d’1 orange
•3cs de confiture d’abricot

1.Faire chauffer le lait dans une petite casserole jusqu'à ce qu’elle soit tiède. Retirer du feu et y mélanger la levure. Laisser de côté.
2. Faire fondre le beurre dans une autre casserole.
3.Dans un grand bol, mélanger les farines (sauf les 2cs), les épices, le sel et le sucre. Y creuser un puis au centre et ajouter le beurre fondu, le mélange lait/levure et l’œuf battu. Mélanger à la fourchette puis transférer sur un plan de travail fariné et pétrir la pâte pendant 5-10min. Transférer dans un bol légèrement huilé, couvrir d’un linge humide, et laisser lever au moins 1h, ou jusqu'à ce que la pâte est doublé de volume.
4.Ressortir la pâte du bol et la pétrir de nouveau quelques instants sur le plan de travail pour chasser l’air. L’étaler et parsemer des fruits secs et zestes et pétrir de nouveau de façon à les incorporer.
5.Recouvrir une plaque à four de papier sulfurisé. Diviser la pâte en 12 petites boules et les mettre sur la plaque en les espaçant bien. Couvrir d’un torchon et laisser pousser encore 30min.
6.Préchauffer le four sur 190°C. 
7.Dans un petit bol, mélanger les 2cs de farine avec 2cs d’eau pour former une pâte épaisse. A l’aide d’une poche à douille ou d’une cuillère, tracer une croix sur chaque brioche avec cette pâte. Mettre au four pour 15-20 min, jusqu'à ce qu’elles soient dorées. 
8.Réchauffer la confiture d’abricot tout doucement dans une petite casserole pour la liquéfier. A la sortie du four des brioches, les transférer sur une grille et les brosser avec un pinceau de confiture d’abricot.
9.Laisser refroidir complètement ou déguster encore tiède avec une noix de beurre.

Hot cross buns on a white background

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