Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Hot cross buns

1/2 c milk
1 c water
2 T margarine
4 oz wholemeal flour
12 oz or more white bread flour
1 T yeast
1 t mixed baking spice
1 c or more currants and chopped mixed dried fruit
few T sugar (I added just a bit more than what would be perfect, err on the side of too little especially if your fruit is sweetened)
half a beaten egg

3 T flour
3 T powdered sugar
3 T margarine
1/2 t (tiny splash) milk

other half of a beaten egg
2 t (slightly larger splash) milk

Heat together the first three ingredients and let cool to lukewarm. Stir together the warm liquids with everything up to and including the first half of the egg, adding the flour slowly until it becomes a soft but kneadable dough. Nice soft buns start with a nice soft dough, so don't worry about getting it past the sticking-to-everything point. Knead for a few minutes in the bowl, then put in a covered greased bowl to rise. Playing cricket and having a sandwich stolen by a dog are good ways to pass the time while the dough rises.

When doubled, punch down and turn out onto a lightly floured board. Divide into 16 pieces, form each into a ball, and place (well separated) on greased baking sheets. Cut a cross into the top of each bun with a sharp knife, cover with greased plastic, and let rise.

While the buns are rising, make the topping by mixing together the flour, sugar, margarine, and milk to make a paste that's somewhere in between frosting and sugar cookie dough. Using a little plastic bag with a corner snipped off, pipe lines of topping into the cut crosses on the now-almost-risen buns.

Sometime around now, preheat the oven to 425F (gas mark 4). Beat a little milk into the other half of the egg and use this to glaze the buns. When the buns are well risen and the oven is hot, bake for 12-16 minutes until golden on all sides and soft but cooked through. Serve split, toasted, and buttered in Lester's mom's kitchen.

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