Home' Central Canterbury News : March 27th 2013 Contents 18 CENTRAL CANTERBURY NEWS, MARCH 27, 2013
Dr OLIVE WEBB
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EASTER TREATS: It's time to be thinking about breakfast on Easter morning.
hot cross buns
By SARAH TURPITT
It is a comforting thought that in
this fast-paced, disposable world,
there are times each year when a
large number of us dust off the coo-
kbooks and bake a recipe that has
been around for centuries.
Easter buns are one of those
traditional festive treats.
And they are not exclusive to
Christians either -- even in pagan
times, a rich sweet dough was pre-
pared to welcome the northern hemi-
sphere spring. It even sported the
mark of the cross in honour of
Eostre, goddess of light. The ancient
Egyptians also baked small sweet
buns marked with ox horns as an
offering to the goddess of the moon.
The hot cross buns as we know
them became popular in Tudor
times. Made from the same spiced,
butter-enriched dough that is used
today, the original hot cross buns
were available for sale only on Good
Friday. These days, of course, you
can buy them for several weeks
However, with the luxury of four
days' holiday, you may well have the
time to join me in baking your own.
Hot cross buns
50g sugar plus 1 tsp extra
1 Tbsp dried yeast
450g plain flour
1 tsp mixed spice
55ml milk, warm
1 egg, beaten
50g butter, melted
Stir the extra teaspoon of sugar into
150ml of hand-hot water. Sprinkle in
the dried yeast and leave it until a
good frothy beer head'' forms.
Sift the flour, salt and mixed spice
into a mixing bowl. Add the remain-
ing 50g of sugar and the currants.
Make a well in the centre and pour
in the yeast mixture, 45ml of the
warm milk, the beaten egg and the
Now mix it to a dough, starting
with a wooden spoon and finishing
with your hands. Add more milk
Transfer the dough onto a clean
surface and knead until it feels
smooth and elastic -- about six
minutes or so.
Place it back into the bowl and
cover with a lightly oiled plastic bag.
Leave it in a warm place to rise -- it
will take about an hour to double its
volume. Turn it out and quickly
knead it again back down to its
Divide the mixture into 12 round
portions. Arrange them on a greased
baking sheet, allowing plenty of
room for expansion, and make a deep
cross on each one with a sharp knife.
Leave them to rise once more,
covering again with the oiled plastic
bag, for about 25 minutes. Mean-
while, pre-heat the oven to
To make more distinctive crosses,
use a flour-and-water paste made
from 110g plain flour and about
three tablespoons of water. Roll out
thinly and divide into small strips,
dampening them to seal.
Bake the buns for about 15
minutes. While they're cooking, melt
50g sugar with two tablespoons of
water over a gentle heat for a glaze.
Brush the buns with it when they
come out of the oven to make them
nice and sticky.
I don't have any brioche moulds, so
I make pinwheels in my muffin tins
- they end up a bit like cinnamon
buns. Just make sure you place the
muffin tins onto a tray or you will
end up with a mess in your oven.
2 tsp dried yeast
1G3 cup sugar
3 cups flour
100g butter, grated
1G2 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp cinnamon
Soak the yeast in the milk.
Add it to the other ingredients and
beat it all together in a cake mixer,
using the paddle attachment, for
8-10 minutes. Allow to prove for at
least three hours -- I usually prove
mine overnight in the fridge. Place
the dough on a floured bench. Roll it
out into a rectangle measuring app-
roximately 45cm x 30cm.
Top with grated butter, brown
sugar and cinnamon.
Roll the dough up and cut it into
12 even pieces. Place into a well-
greased muffin tin and bake at 180C
for 15 minutes.
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