Saturday, 3 April 2010

Hot Cross Buns

I do love a hot cross bun, but why do we only eat them at Easter. With some festive foods I can understand leaving them for one occasion a year, who wants to cook a turkey more often than that? But the little pillows of fragrant fruited bread, fresh from the oven, smothered in butter are such a delicious treat I can't understand why we don't eat more of them.
I think most supermarkets stock them, or a variation of them throughout the year, but I only realy have them in mind in March and April, a habit I must change.
This year I have made my own, not unique to myself I am sure, but a first for me. I have a childhood memory of hot cross bun dough rising in a bowl in the airing cupboard and then being brought to the table fresh from the oven on Easter Sunday. I remember the chewy cross having a slight sweetness and texture that you just don't get from the shop bought kind. All this is something I wanted to recreate this Easter, although I don't have an airing cupboard.
After much perusing I settled on the Nigella recipe from Feast. It is a great book that I have gone back to time and time again, so decided to put my hot cross buns in Nigella's hands.
They really are great, you need the time to let them rise and for all the little stages, but it is well worth it.
If I were to do them again, which I might well do before Christmas, I might ignore the suggestion to make them smaller and have 12 instead of the 16. I think you miss out on the doughy texture when they are smaller, but appreciate the cute idea.
I can highly recommend making your own, if only to fill the house with the most beautiful smell of freshly baked, lightly spiced bread.


Alex T said...

I happily eat hot cross buns year round. I'm a bit scared of yeast/bread baking for some reason but am inspired to have a go after seeing how good yours look - all I need now if for the kitchen to be finished and a new cooker to arrive.

Katie said...

What a good reason to get the kitchen done!
Give them a go, I think you will like them and the process is more theraputic than frightening.
Good Luck.