Sunday, 1 April 2018

Happy Easter

There's no sense of scale, but these are actually the little miniature daffodils about 6" high, and the ground was too damp for me to kneel down to eye-level. I spotted them yesterday on my way to collect a package.

Slightly thankful for the cold weather this weekend, as it meant I was able to leave these Hot Cross Buns (sans crosses, too much trouble, and anyway we were eating them today) rising overnight in the back porch and they were just perfectly ready to go in the oven this morning. 

I've been making this recipe for many, many years - over 35 anyway. It comes from a National Trust book "Christmas and Festive Day Recipes" which my father brought back from one his school trips to London, and I distinctly remember cooking from it when my parents were still living in Greystones.

Hot Cross Buns:
1/2 pt (250ml) milk and water mixed, blood temperature with a teaspoon of sugar mixed in
3/4 oz (22g) fresh yeast, under 1/2 oz, 11 gr active dried, probably one sachet of instant
1/2 tsp each ground cinnamon, mixed spice, grated nutmeg and salt
1 lb (450g) strong white flour
2 oz (50g) castor sugar
2 oz (50g) soft butter
2 eggs beaten together
6 oz (175g) currants or raisins
1 0z (25g) candied peel finely chopped. Optional - and I often use cherries instead.

For the glaze - 2 oz (50g) sugar, 2 tblsp water.
If you want crosses - 2 oz (125g) shortcrust pastry.

Depending on your type of yeast, activate it in the milk and water or add the instant to the flour and spices mixed together.
Beat the butter and sugar together till really creamy, then carefully add the egg. I find this easier than the way the recipe adds them. Add this to the flour in a large bowl, along with the yeast. Knead till smooth and elastic, adding more flour if required. Allow to rise till doubled. Knock it back and allow to rise again for another half hour.

Cut into 12 pieces and shape into balls. If you're adding crosses, leave the buns for about 20 minutes, then roll out the pastry, cut thin strips and add crosses to your buns, sticking them on with water.

In another half hour or so they should have risen again and be ready to bake in a hot oven for approx 20 minutes, till golden brown. 

Put sugar and water in a ban, bring to the boil slowly and then when the sugar has dissolved, boil rapidly to the syrup stage and glaze the buns. 

Happy birthday yesterday, Lorraine, I hope you had a lovely day.  I had such fun making this snowbird - except maybe the miniature pompoms. I have enough trouble with big ones! It always seems that whatever I use to tie the wool together always seems to break when I try to pull it that little bit tighter. I ended up using fine nylon for these. 

Taken from the top of the bus, hence the many odd reflections - but we have a beautiful sea of daffodils on the road to the park gate just now. The tulips should be showing up next.

This month's header is a photo from St. Catherine's Park last April. Interestingly I see that the header I used last April was also from St. Catherine's Park (the Highland cattle), so it appears to be a popular time for us to visit.

1 comment :

  1. Happy Easter! Our crocuses are blooming and daffodils close to buildings are starting to open. Mother Nature is not done with winter here just yet. My little snowbird is appropriately dressed for the 2-4" we're expecting on Monday - not an April Fool joke. Interesting that the recipe calls for milk and water at blood temperature. Never heard that before. Hope you enjoyed your buns and have a wonderful day.