Christoph and I are going on holiday to the French Alps! If I get a chance I will post some pictures of the beautiful scenery while we are away, although I can’t promise anything as the internet where we will be is not great. This means that there won’t be any baking post coming in the next week or so from Littlebitsofnice.
Instead of baking I will just have to go to lots of French boulangeries/patisseries and eat lots of their breads and pastry…life is hard…
I promise some tasty treats as soon as we are back to make up for it.
Back to todays hot cross buns! I made these back in Easter and as I was unable to post back then I decided to take a couple of pictures in case I was able to come back to posting on Littlebitsofnice. Which I am now and they are sooooooo light, fluffy and tasty that you’ll be glad I did take those pictures back then and shared it with you now! Although traditional at Easter I like eating them anytime in the year.
It does have yeast and so it does take a little while to make. You have to have a little bit of patience with this one.
This is another Paul Hollywood recipe – can you tell we love him in our household when it comes to dough? Plus the man has such sexy hands mixing those doughs…or is it only me…?
The only difference from mine is that in his recipe he add 50g of mixed peel but I couldn’t find any so I left it out. Feel free to add it if you want to. I thought they were lovely without (I’m not much of a dried fruit person).
300ml full-fat milk, plus 2 tbsp more
500g strong bread flour
1 tsp salt
75g caster sugar
1 tbsp sunflower oil
7g sachet fast-action yeast
1 egg, beaten
zest 1 orange
1 apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped
1 tsp ground cinnamon
For the cross
75g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
For the glaze
3 tbsp apricot jam
Bring the milk to the boil. Remove from the heat and add the butter. Leave to cool until it reaches hand temperature. Put the flour, salt, sugar and yeast into a bowl. Make a well in the centre. Pour in the warm milk and butter mixture, then add the egg. Using a wooden spoon, mix well, then bring everything together with your hands until you have a sticky dough.
Tip on to a lightly floured surface and knead by holding the dough with one hand and stretching it with the heal of the other hand, then folding it back on itself. Repeat for 5 mins until smooth and elastic. I had never done this before and I did find it a bit difficult to do but with practice it gets better!
Put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with oiled cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hr or until doubled in size and a finger pressed into it leaves a dent.
With the dough still in the bowl, tip in the sultanas, mixed peel, orange zest, apple and cinnamon. Knead into the dough, making sure everything is well distributed. Kneading this after the first rise makes it difficult to incorporate the fruits into the dough as it is very elastic. You could always add these before the first rise but I am not sure how this will affect the dough.
Leave to rise for 1 hr more, or until doubled in size, again covered by some well-oiled cling film to stop the dough getting a crust.
Divide the dough into 15 even pieces. Roll each piece into a smooth ball on a lightly floured work surface. Arrange the buns on one or two baking trays lined with parchment, leaving enough space for the dough to expand. Cover (but don’t wrap) with more oiled cling film, or a clean tea towel, then set aside to prove for 1 hr more.
Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7.
Mix the flour with about 5 tbsp water to make the paste for the cross – add the water 1 tbsp at a time, so you add just enough for a thick paste. Spoon into a piping bag with a small nozzle. Pipe a line along each row of buns, then repeat in the other direction to create crosses, making sure you go all the way down every time. Bake for 20 mins on the middle shelf of the oven, until golden brown.
Gently heat the apricot jam to melt, then sieve to get rid of any chunks. While the jam is still warm, brush over the top of the warm buns and leave to cool.
And finally after all this waiting: EAT AND ENJOY!