Easter is like Christmas, craft wise, but with far less pressure, so I wanted to cook something Easter-y and considering I’ve been eating my body weight in Waitrose hot cross buns (imho the nicest supermarket hot cross bun ever, particularly the wholemeal or the apple and cinnamon varieties and unfortunately for my waistline always on special offer if you buy two packs), I thought I’d give the real thing a go. I had planned to cook a Rachel Allen recipe, well, I certainly wasn’t going to try the hot cross bun recipe I tried last year, which was a disaster. But then I caught up with The Great British Bake Off Easter Special on iPlayer and old blue eyes himself was making hot cross buns and well of course I jumped ship. The recipe from the show is here but I used the recipe from Paul Hollywood’s How to Bake, which is pretty much exactly similar, except in the book he uses a mix of milk and water for the liquid component and on GBO he used just milk.
So, this morning I kneaded the dough.
Making the most (for the first time since the kitchen was done) of the real wood worktops, I would never have done that on our old disgusting, hard to get properly clean laminate and it is one of the reasons why, when I was busy finding the cheapest possible tiles and quibbling over the costs of towel radiators, I completely splashed out on the worktops (although in my defence, at least one benefit of a tiny kitchen, I wasn’t ordering an awful lot of real wood worktop).
I then left it to rise whilst I went shopping (Girl Lacer being a complete sweetheart and wanting to buy Grandma and Granddad Easter Eggs with her own money, whilst Boy Lacer wanted to buy an Easter Egg for himself …). Then back to knock the dough down and add the mixed fruit, apple and cinnamon, kneaded again (helped by Girl Lacer this time) and then left to rise for a second time. I then shaped them into buns (struggling to get 12 buns, settling instead for 10) and left to rise for a final time.
I then added the crosses (watching Paul Hollywood do this on TV the night before really helped) and in the oven they went!
They then tortured us for 20 minutes with the most divine smell ever (although to be honest it was smelling pretty good when being kneaded earlier to) and came out looking like this (after I put apricot glaze on)!
And they tasted gorgeous (the kids have been road testing them against some Waitrose ones we still had in the cupboard and they say mine are nicer, they’re definitely more airy and less doughy / squishy and the addition of apple is genisus, they’re very filling though).