Monday, 25 March 2013

Almost Easter...and another give-away

Hot Cross Buns...
We have just finished our dinner (fish pie - yummy!), the dog is asleep and I can finally get round to writing my blog post.  It's been a busy day - with Easter fast approaching, I am getting a few things ready for our visitors.  I am hoping the sun will come out, so we can go for walks etc - an Easter egg hunt outside might be pushing it a bit.

I have baked a batch of hot cross buns (they are a traditional Easter bread here) - I have popped these in the freezer...they will taste freshly made once defrosted and toasted.  They will be fab for our Easter breakfast :-)

I have also made some of the decorations for our Easter cake. This is the first one, made out of marzipan (the little carrot is shop-bought & made out of chocolate).  I have named the little fellow Karl but now I am not sure I will be able to eat him.

Note to self:  never name your cake decorations if you are planning on eating them! :-)

Before I forget, I am planning another give-away to take place on Monday, 1st April (no April fools joke!).  So, if you missed out last time, please remember to visit the blog next week Monday, leave a comment on the day and I will draw the winner from all entries.  The prize is a great one which I hope you will enjoy...more details soon!

Have a great start to your week!

Hot Cross Buns (makes 10 -12)

250g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
250g plain white flour
125ml warm water
125ml warm milk
5g powdered dried yeast
10g salt
50g caster sugar
1 medium free-range egg
50g butter
200g raisins, currants or sultanas (or a mixture)
1 tsp ground mixed spice

For the crosses
50g plain white flour
50ml water

To finish
1 tbsp apricot (or other) jam, sieved
1 tbsp water


Combine the flours, water, milk, yeast, salt and sugar in the bowl and fit the dough hook. Add the egg and butter and mix to a sticky dough.
Now add the dried fruit, orange zest and spice and knead until silky and smooth.(you can do this in the food processor if you prefer).
Cover the dough and leave to rise in a warm place for about 1 hour until doubled in size.
Knock back the risen dough and divide into 10-12 equal pieces. Shape into rounds and dust with flour. Place on a floured board, cover with plastic or linen and leave to prove for about half an hour until roughly doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas Mark 6.
To make the crosses, whisk together the flour and water until smooth, then transfer to a greaseproof paper piping bag and snip off the end to make a fine hole (or use a plastic food bag with a corner snipped off).
Transfer the risen buns to a baking tray and pipe a cross on top of each one, then bake in the oven for 15–20 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt the jam with the water in a pan. Brush over the buns to glaze as you take them from the oven.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Serve warm, cold or toasted.

These freeze very well - just defrost before toasting.

(recipe taken from the River Cottage website)


  1. These look delicious Kirsten, I am hoping I am able to make them. What is strong white bread flour? All the other ingredients I understand. You are a very good cook! Ann

    1. Thank you Ann :-) The flour is just white bread flour which is sometimes called strong white flour over here - sorry about the confusion. I love these little buns - apart from the dough rising they are really quick & easy to make and delicious. Hope you get to try them! Kirsten x

    2. Thanks Kirsten, I will try them on Friday, thanks for the explanation.

  2. Hot cross buns are a lovely tradition. My Gram used to make those every year. Karl is adorable. If your family is anything like mine the name probably will not stop them from devouring something delicious, lol. I hope things are going well with your visit preparations. Have a great week.

    1. :-) I fear you might be right about Karl and his little friends...
      It's lovely that you remember these buns from your Gram making them - I really enjoy these!
      Have a great week too! Kirsten x