After a serious pruning session with the cyprus trees, imagine their delight when I let them have the prunings rather that toss them all to the goats (well...maybe the goats did get a little - just so I could watch them gallop down the hill!). Plenty of branches to go around though...
Plenty for some serious hutmaking!
Have you made hot cross buns this year? Perhaps you buy them instead?
My favourite recipe is from here and is the splattered printout in my recipe folder. It's written out in a strange way though with the ingredients for different things not separated, so I'll jot them down here along with my modifications for future reference.
Hot Cross Buns
1 1/4 cups (310mls) milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
100g butter, melted
4 cups plain flour
4 tsp dried yeast
4-6 tsp mixed spice
1 cup (or more!) of good chocolate chips...or sultanas if you absolutely must.
Into a breadmaker, toss the wet ingredients, followed by the dry, excluding the chocolate chips (place these in the freezer so they are nice'n'cold later on). Set to dough cycle while you go off to do other things.
When the dough is ready, remove and place onto a floured benchtop. Flatten out gently and sprinkle the cold chocolate chips over surface. Fold up like a package and repeat with the remaining chocolate chips. Adding the chocolate in this way stops them from being kneaded to smithereens and then melting into the mixture while the dough is having it's first rise.
Divide dough into 16 equal portions and roll into balls. Place into a parchment lined square 23cm baking tin, fitting them snugly together. Cover and allow to rise for around 30 minutes or so. Preheat oven to 200c.
While the buns are rising, prepare the 'cross' paste:
1/3 cup plain flour
1 tbs sugar (I used pure icing sugar, to dissolve easier)
2 tbs cocoa
Place the paste ingredients into a cup and slowly add enough water to make a thick, spreadable paste. Place into a small piping bag.
Prepare the glaze now as well by placing:
1/3 cup sugar (again, I used pure icing sugar, to dissolve easier) and
2 tbs water
into a small pot and stirring over low heat until the sugar melts and forms a syrup. Place aside until buns are cooked.
Once the buns have risen, pipe horizontal and vertical lines over them with the chocolate paste to form the crosses.
Bake buns for 10 minutes then turn down oven to 180c for a further 20 minutes or so, until buns are firm on top, golden brown and popping out of the tin.
Heat glaze to a simmer and brush the hot glaze over the hot buns and allow to cool slightly before diving in. It's hard, I know, and as you can see, you really have to be quick with a camera in our house to get a picture.
|Meh. Who needs sultanas?|
Best eaten warm while the chocolate is still meltingly gooey.