Hot Cross Buns, Hot Cross Buns….

good friday recipe hot cross bun recipe kent whitstable whitstable larder recipe

21 Reasons to Bake your Own Hot Cross Buns at Home & Recipe

I love to make my own hot cross buns for Good Friday.  For me they are the perfect start to the Easter weekend break and spring feast. Of course they used to only be available at Easter time, being part of the traditional breaking of lent with the cross representing the crucifixion of Christ. But, like all good things, they can now be found all year round in most grocery stores, though without any of the mystery and magic which accompanies an occasional indulgence. Hot Cross Buns are undoubtedly to my mind at their best when homemade and shared with family and friends once a year over Easter.

 

Do you get tempted by those super market packs of hot cross buns that greet you as soon as you enter a store at this time of year? I saw some the other day ‘60p each or 2 for a pound’. They were momentarily appealing to me. I pick up a packet and considered it. I am only in the supermarket for some free fresh yeast from the bakery counter and to stock up on my dried yeast as well as a couple of essentials. I look for the ingredients but unusually do not see any. I wonder what goes into them. I place them back on the shelves, my rational brain kicking in with the thought that I will be making my own at home as I do every year, and saving this treat for Good Friday.

So why do I make my own Hot Cross Buns every year?

I love everything about this sweetened current bun when homemade, not least the smell when they come out of the oven freshly baked

I love the taste of this sweet spiced bun with butter semi melted into it

I love to share them as a homemade treat to present with a theatrical flourish to family on Good Friday

I would be in trouble if I did not make them

I love the ritual of making these buns annually and the fact that they are part of our family tradition

I love that my mum says that mine are better than hers

I love to get out my well-thumbed recipe each year to make the batch, usually but not always based on Delia Smith who uses plain flour, but this year adapting Darina Allen’s recipe that uses strong flour

I love the fact that I usually make plenty so there are enough for the Easter weekend as well as a few to freeze and enjoy over a couple of weeks

I love the fact that making the buns is part of keeping food traditions alive with some slow home cooking

I love hot cross buns over and above any chocolate treats I may indulge in over Easter

I love the fact that they are made to be shared unlike chocolate eggs which tend to be squirrelled away once received in our house

I love the fact that they are eaten with spring and hope in the air and a taste of the sunshine to come

I love the fact that this spiced bun feels healthy and wholesome despite being sweetened dough, slathered in melted butter

I love the fact that it goes so well both with a cup of tea or a steaming mug of my daily usual strong black locally roasted coffee from Micro Roastery in Canterbury or Lost Sheep Coffee Whitstable

I love the fact that they can even be eaten as a savoury bun if you sneak a piece of tasty hard cheese onto it such as Ashmore Cheese made in Dargate just outside Whitstable, as well as butter of course

I love the fact that you can over indulge if you so wish as you have not just bought one bun each

I love the fact that I can walk past the queues at the local bakeries, all of whom make excellent hot cross buns, knowing that I have mine safely in hand at home

I love the fact that I have been thrifty by making my own, using the flour, eggs and butter in my larder with everyday inexpensive ingredients

I love the fact that whilst people may say ‘I buy them as I do not have the time to make them’, that I make them as life is too short not to experience the slow pleasure of working with a yeasted dough especially one dotted with currents and smelling of spices

I love the fact that they are perfect for breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea

I love that fact that that by the time you have had a few of these over Easter you are ready to return to more parsimonious living

There are so many good reasons to make your own hot cross buns, and I have named but a few, do let me know yours, I would love to know

Hot Cross Buns Recipe

25g Fresh Yeast

75g caster sugar

200 ml tepid milk

250g strong white flour

200g strong wholemeal fluor

75g melted butter

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

2 teaspoons mixed spice

2 large free range eggs

75g currents

50g sultanas

25g chopped mixed peel

For the sugar glaze

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

2 tablespoons water

 

Method

Crumble the fresh yeast into a jug with 1 tablespoon of the weighed out caster sugar

Pour on some of the tepid milk, give a little stir and cover with a saucer until it begins to froth

Mix dry ingredients except the dried fruit together for the dough

Make a well in the centre and pour in the rest of the milk, the beaten eggs and melted butter

Finally pour in the yeast mix and stir until well mixed

Leave for 10 minutes covered

Come back and stir again, mixing in the dried fruit then put in a clean lightly greased bowl

Cover the bowl with a cloth and leave to rise in a warm place until nearly double in size for an hour or two

Divide and shape into 12 to 16 buns

Place on greased baking tray

Slash each bun with a cross with a very sharp knife or baker’s blade

Sprinkle with a little flour and cover with a cloth to rise again until doubled in size

Wash with milk before placing in a pre-heated oven for 10 to 15 minutes

Glaze with the sugar and water glaze mix when they come out of the oven and place on a wire rack to cool

 


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