I love Easter. I love autumn, and I love the four-day weekend. We managed to fit in a lot of socialising, heaps of climbing, heaps of baking - and get four loads of laundry done! Why can't every weekend be this long?
Anyway, we made Hot Cross Buns. They turned out dense and fruity and good. I used the same Donna Hay recipe as last year, but used golden syrup for the glaze instead of gelatine. Here they are.
Hot Cross Buns
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 1/2 cups lukewarm milk
4 1/4 cups plain flour, sifted
2 teaspoons mixed spice
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
50g butter, melted
1 3/4 cup mixed dried fruit (Donna used sultanas and candied mixed peel)
1/2 cup plain flour, extra
1/3 cup water
golden syrup, to glaze
Place the yeast, 2 teaspoons of sugar and all the milk in a bowl and set aside for 5 minutes. If it doesn't start to foam, you might need new yeast.
Add all remaining ingredients (except extra flour and water) to the yeast mixture. Stir with a butter knife until a sticky dough forms. Knead on a floured surface for 8 minutes, or until it feels elastic. Place in an oiled bowl, cover with a tea towel and stand for an hour in a warm place, or until it's doubled in size. Divide the dough into 12 pieces and roll into balls.
Grease a square cake tin and line with baking paper. Place the balls in the tin, cover with a clean tea towel and set aside for another half an hour, or until they've risen. Preheat the oven to 200C.
Combine the extra flour and water, place in a plastic bag with one corner snipped off, and pipe crosses on the buns. Bake for 35 minutes or until well browned and springy to touch. Brush with golden syrup while still warm.