Sunday, 31 March 2013

hot cross buns

It really does feel like spring! Almost all of the snow has disappeared, the sun is setting later and it's finally Easter weekend! This is traditionally a very happy holiday, but unfortunately for me, April now means tax season. So long dear memories of April, and hello to my worst nightmare taxes! As my tax professor in University once said, there are only two certain things sure in life: death and taxes.

So for this special occasion (and because I couldn't get out of town for the long weekend because of our LOVELY tax season, don't you feel my love for tax?), I decided to bake hot cross buns.

hot cross buns

I think that the last time I saw these were maybe for my first communion. My parents prepared the cheesiest gift bags for my family who came to celebrate my first communion. I remember that it was this white paper bag with a printed image of an angel with my complete name, first name, middle name and last name included. If I remember correctly, it didn't even fit in one line, but it was thoughtful. And in the bag, my dad gave all of my family hot cross buns.

So, since I did have my first communion close to Easter, I thought it'd be a good idea to make my own version of hot cross buns! I decided to add spices in it as well as dried cranberry rather than raisins. Although it doesn't have the taste and texture of my dad's favorite brioche, it's delicious with peanut butter. Or it might just be me. I was worried that it wouldn't be edible, but I'm still alive and doing fine. So it passed the test.

Hot Cross Buns adapted from things for boys
1 tbsp dry yeast
2 tsp white sugar
1 1/2 cup warm milk
600 g sifted flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice
1/2 cup sugar
50 g melted butter
1 egg
1 1/2 cups dried cranberry (or any other dried fruit. the original recipe called for a mix of dried fruits and choco chips :)

2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp water

3 tbsp flour
2 tbsp water

1. In a bowl, add warm milk, yeast, and sugar together. Mix together and set aside for 10-15 minutes until there's a foam that forms on the top of your milk. You'll even hear it fizz! It will still be in a liquid consistency and you'll notice lumps when it's ready.
2. Using your mixer bowl, add flour, cinnamon and sugar and sift together.
3. Make a well in your dry ingredients and add in your butter, egg, milk mixture and dried cranberries. It should look like a pond in the middle of your flour mix.
4. Using your spiral hook from your standard mixer, knead the dough for roughly 5 minutes until the dough comes together a consistent elastic ball stuck around your hook. It should not stick on the mixing bowl.
5. Oil a separate bowl to let your dough rest for an hour, or until it has doubled in size for the yeast to do its magic! Don't forget to cover it with a cling wrap or towel during this time.
6. Get a pan (11'' X 9'') ready with lined parchment paper.
7. Knead your dough on a floured surface and roll 12 equal size of dough into balls.
8. Let your dough rise again for a second time for another half hour.
9. Preheat oven at 400F.
10. Before putting in your buns in the oven, mix your paste mixture together and put it in a ziploc bag to use it to pipe your crosses.
11. Bake for 30-25 minutes or until browned.
12. Once out of the over, mix your glaze mixture and brush onto of your buns once they come out of the oven.
13. Wait until cool enough to handle and devour with some peanut butter, or regular butter.

Happy Easter!

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