domingo, 6 de abril de 2014

Easter Hot Cross Buns

Easter time is getting closer, and lots of traditional Easter recipes inundates our homes. We'd love to fill our bowl with some of the sweets that are typical of this period. We wanted to start our Holy Week traditional recipes collection with something that's not quite typical of our borough, but that we learned to love a lot in the last few years, since we started eating them all year round he he. Sorry Britons! 

Those buns have many names, Cross Buns, Good Friday Buns, Easter Buns, etc...but their original name is Hot Cross Buns, and the tradition states that they are to be eaten on Good Friday, and are typical of Commonwhealth countries like United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. They starts to crowd bakeries during Lent, and they are buns filled with currants, and their typical feature is the cross that decorates them.

The cross, symbol of the Crucifixion, has always been related to Christian tradition, but it seems that this feature on the buns comes actually from pagan era, where the crossed buns were used to honour the goddess Eostre, or to represent the four lunar phases. In the United Kingdom, during the reign of Isabel II of England, it was prohibited the sell and the consumption of these buns, with few exceptions admitted: burials, Christmas or Good Friday being amongst them. Lots of legends and superstitions too surround them, for example it is said that they have healing powers. Sharing a Hot Cross Buns with another person guarantee ethernal friendship. It is also said that hanging a Hot Cross Buns on a wall prevents the house from fires, or a ship from shipwrecks.

Today there are many modern varieties of these buns, using the same base but filling it with other kinds of dehydrated fruits or even chocolate. In Czech Republic there is a very similar bun, used in this time of the year too.
Today, we will bring you our own version, where we added to the traditional recipe zested nutmeg and dehydrated pineapple and papaya. We hope you like it!

  • 300 ml of milk
  • 60 g.of butter
  • 500 gr. of flour
  • 1 spoonful of salt ( 1 tsp)
  • 100 gr. of sugar
  • 7 g. of bakery yeast (1 envelope of dehydrated yeast)
  • 1egg
  • 50 g. aprox. of small minced dehydrated fruits
  • 100 g. aprox. of currants
  • 1 spoonful of cinnamon ( 1 tsp)
  • 1/2 spoonful of zested nutmeg

Glaze icing:
  • Golden Syrup ( 2 spoons)
  • water ( 3 spoons)
For the decoration (cross):
  • flour ( some 3 spoons approx.)
  • water


1º- Put a pot with milk on heat, and let it boil. Retire from heat and wait for it to cool down.

2º- Put the flour, the sugar, the salt, the yeast, the butter and the egg in a bowl. Mix them together, and gently pour the milk. Stir a little bit, until you obtain a sort of sticky mass.

3º- Add the spices now (in my case, the zested nutmeg and the cinnamon), together with the currant and the dehydrated fruits. Keep on stirring, until we obtain a soft and elastic dough. If you see it too sticky, just add some more flour. We can do this part by hand of with a machine. 
4º- Put the dough to rest in a bowl that we previously grassed, and cover it with a plastic wrap. Let it rest for about an hour, or until it doubled its size.
 5º- Do some little ball with your hands, about the same size each: if you want you can weigh them to be sure. In my case, each ball is some 80 grams each. Put the balls in an oven tray above the cooking paper and let it rest again for another hour. Please be sure that each ball have enough space around him, a couple of inches will be perfect.

6º- After that, put three spoonful of flour in a bowl, and gently add some water until you obtain a sort of cream. Put this cream in a piping bag and decorate the buns with the trademark cross.

7º- Put the tray in the preheated oven at 200°C, for about 20-25 minutes, or until they are golden brown.

8º- To moisten our buns, put the Golden Syrup and some water in a little pot, and put on heat until it melts completely. If we don't have Golden Syrup, we can use honey, some jam or simply water and sugar.

Charles, Prince of Wales, loves to eat our Hot Cross Buns two by two!

9º- When the buns are still very hot we paint with the moisture their surface with a cooking brush they are! ;)

We can preserve well the buns in a tin can during 4 or 5 days. If they're not just made, I prefet to warm them up a little bit, since they are to be eaten hot. You can eat them alone, with jam, sandwich-like with ham or salami...that a matter of taste! Whether you followed the tradition or not, they are just excellent! And even if they are typical of Easter time...who can forbid us eating them all year round? Enjoy them!



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