Saturday 3 April 2010

Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross bun

I love hot cross buns. It just isn't Easter time without hot cross buns. They have been out in shops here since a few days after Christmas and even though I love them I would not buy them until after the end of February. Normally it would be the end of March but with Easter being early this year I though that making myself wait until 1st March was long enough. I did end up buying a few bags the bakery as they had a deal of a free loaf of bread with the purchase of 6 buns, and who can resist something free? They were nice but not as good as ones that I have made previously.

The last few years I have made at least one batch of my own. I have always enjoyed making breads and buns so it was just a natural progression. Initially I just attempted to add spices and fruit to my Gramma's bun recipe. They were okay but it didn't work as well as I had hoped. I decided that I needed a specific recipe and there are a lot of them to choose from. The first recipe that produced a bun that I was happy with was one from,au. I have used that recipe for several years now but decided this year to give a different one a chance. Over on Taste forums there is a fortnightly Cook's Club Challenge where a member posts 3 recipes that they enjoy making for other members to make. It is a way of getting out of the comfort zone and making at least a few different things. I do try to participate but I have been a bit slack lately.

The Challenge that this hot cross buns recipe came from was posted a couple of years ago now, before I was really aware of Cook's Club. I only made some minor changes to the recipe. I added more spices, probably 3 - 4 tsp in total. I don't have mixed spice so I added a combination of nutmeg, ground cloves, ground cardamom, ground allspice and cinnamon. The cardamom, allspice and nutmeg were all freshly ground. I find fresh ground cloves too strong so I tend to keep some of the bought ground cloves in the cupboard. The only other change I made was to add sugar to the crosses paste, it really makes a difference. These buns are so good fresh out of the oven split in half and spread with a bit of butter. I made them yesterday and they were still quite fresh tasting today. Hopefully they will remain so for the next few days. If not then I may use left overs for Valli Little's Chocolate Hot Cross Bun and Butter Pudding or I will make a regular bread and butter pudding with them.

Hot Cross Buns

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