Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter everyone!

Posted by kel @ sweet treats at 1:42 PM

"Hot cross buns, hot cross buns..."

In lieu of Easter cupcakes, which had been on the menu until I...err...ate all the eggs (oops) I needed to find something else to make.

After a trip to two different Baker's Delight stores yesterday (who both duly informed me they didn't have any fruitless hot cross buns) it was clear that I had to make my own hot cross buns (HCB).

A quick look in the pantry this morning caused a great deal of distress. I had picked up allspice instead of mixed spice in my whirlwind mid-Easter shopping expedition. What to do, what to do? J decided he REALLY needed HCB so he made a special trip to some tiny supermarket that was open (god bless living in an area dominated by people who don't celebrate Easter).

I heard the key turn in the lock and got up, anxious to see if J had been successful in his quest for mixed spice. I looked in his hands, and all he was holding was a Red Tulip egg for me. Nice sentiment, but I really needed the mixed spice! He said "maybe you could just put some chocolate in them," he said, gesturing to the egg. I resisted rolling my eyes. These psuedo chocolate hot cross buns were not going to be the spicy buns I was hoping for. J continued. "And if there's not enough chocolate in that egg, you could use some of these," he said, pulling a bag of Red Tulip eggs out of his pocket. While I was starting to find his daggy joke quite funny, I was still a little upset that my easter treats were quickly disappearing from fruition.

"But," he said, his hand in his other pocket, "I guess you could always use mixed spice!" Oh, praise be! He had actually found some. Bless him.

I used a Donna Hay recipe (see her book Modern Classics 2) as the base for my HCB, but altered it slightly to make my HCB fruitless (both J and I are those strange people that don't appreciate dried fruit in baked goods).

Fruitless Hot Cross Buns


1 sachet dry yeast
½ cup caster sugar
1 ½ cups lukewarm milk
4 ¼ cups plain flour, sifted
2 ½ teaspoons mixed spice
2 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
50g butter, melted
1 egg
(you can add 1/4 cup mixed candied peel & 2 cups mixed dried fruit if you don't want them to be fruitless - just add fruit when you're adding the flour & spices together)

1/2 cup plain flour
4-5 tablespoons water

¼ cup caster sugar
30ml water
1 teaspoon powdered gelatine, dissolved in 1 tablespoon of water


Mix the yeast, milk and two teaspoons of the caster sugar in a small bowl. Cover with gladwrap and set aside for a few minutes until the mixture is frothy.

Sift the flour into a large bowl. Add the spices, the remaining sugar and the yeast mixture. Mix with a wooden spoon until combined. You'll have to muster some elbow grease for the next bit! Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead by hand for 8 minutes until the dough is elastic. However, if you're lazy and/or lucky like me and you have an electric mixer, use the dough hook to knead the mixture until elastic (it will take about 5 minutes).

Once the dough is ready, place it in a large oiled bowl and cover with a tea towel. Place the bowl in a warm spot and leave for one hour, or until it's doubled in size.

Once that's done, divide the mixture into twelve sections and roll these into balls. Place them in a tray that has been greased and lined with non stick baking paper. Cover them with the tea towel again and leave for another half an hour.

Preheat your oven to 200 celsius (180 for us fan forced folk).

For the crosses, combine the flour and water to make a paste. Pop the paste into a zip lock bag, chop the corner off and use this as a piping bag. Pipe crosses over the buns.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until browned and firm to touch.

In the last five minutes of baking, prepare the glaze. Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan over low heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Add the gelatine that you have dissolved in some water and stir for another minute until the mixture is clear. Brush the glaze over the buns and turn out onto a wire rack for cooling.

Serve hot with lots of butter. Mmm.

Happy Easter to all!

6 comments on "Happy Easter everyone!"

the AIRY FAIRY on Tuesday, 25 March, 2008 said...

these look fabulous. never made hot cross buns before but that photo at the beginning of your post has definitely inspired me to try. what a great pic!

Anonymous said...

Wow! These do look good. I also prefer my HCB fruitless, but will eat the fruit ones if I HAVE to! Did you find working with yeast hard? I'm tempted, but afraid I'll end up with dough that will grow and grow and take over my kitchen!

Keep up the good work!

Fi Cupcakes

Kel @ Sweet Treats on Tuesday, 25 March, 2008 said...

Thanks guys!

Fi - this was my first time with bread and I must say I was quite shocked at how easy it was.

It may have had something to do with me leaving the hard work up to my gorgeous MixMaster though ;)

I have visions of a giant 'yeast beast' taking over my kitchen now hahahaha!

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen on Wednesday, 26 March, 2008 said...

These look better than any I have ever seen! I used to hate the fruit in them when I was little, but now I don't mind it as much. Sicilians are crazy for candied fruit, and I didn't acquire a taste for them until I was older.

Your buns are beautiful!

Welcome to The Foodie Blogroll! :)

Kel @ Sweet Treats on Wednesday, 26 March, 2008 said...

Thanks very much Jenndz, and thankyou for the warm welcome :)

Sharona May on Thursday, 27 March, 2008 said...

Ok, seriously, that looks fantastic!!!

Love it.

Sharona May


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