Hot Cross Buns… at Christmas

Naturally, as we are heading rapidly towards the festive season, where mince pies and yule logs and turkeys are the order of the day, I decided to bake some Hot Cross Buns. It had been in the back of my mind a while ago, and then when I made the chocolate chip cookies, I remembered I had dried mixed fruit that needed using up.

So, I waited until the end of the F1 season so I’d have a free weekend. All that kneading and waiting and kneading and waiting does my head in and I wanted a clear day for stress free baking. It was all going well until I put it aside to rise for the first time. It didn’t rise. Well, maybe a centimetre. I moved it about, I left it in front of the heater, I did all I could and it did nothing. I kneaded it some more and left it again. Still nothing.

I was disappointed, but knew in my head the reasons it could be – not enough yeast, the milk was too cold, not enough heat. I was prepared to ditch the dough and try again another weekend. But Mr C said to just leave it in the bowl overnight and see what happened. It couldn’t hurt.

In the morning, we had a rise! I prepped the buns, baked, piped and glazed, and I had some hot cross buns… all through just having a little bit of patience.

hot-cross-buns

This is my own version of a baker’s dozen. Instead of having twelve and adding one, I had twelve and took one away. There are eleven in the photograph because the other one I was eating.

As ever, my presentation could do with a lot of work. I was impressed with the crosses though – they always seemed a really complicated thing, but it’s not at all! The sticky syrup glaze on top adds quite a lot to the flavour but really is quite sticky, I’m not sure I’m a fan of that.

But otherwise, they’re just, as Mr C put it: “Yea, normal.” Which I think is high praise indeed!

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