Happy Easter

Slightly more rustic than usual, their appearance didn’t affected the taste and a warm Hot Cross bun spread with butter for breakfast yesterday was a real treat.

I proved this batch of spiced fruity dough overnight in the fridge and so they were hard to shape well. But I like the fact you don’t have to get up 04:00 to make dough to have them ready in time for breakfast. It’s a good method. But I wonder if I can shape them before they go into the fridge next time? They were light and airy and that’s the important thing, I was a bit concerned before as each felt like a cold clammy piece of concrete before they went into the oven! It was still a fairly early start as I got up at 06:40 to take the dough out of the fridge so it could come up to room temp, then shaped and baked them an hour or two later.

Traditionally Hot Cross buns have always been eaten on Good Friday, although you now seem to be able to buy them in some shops all year round. Usually I would have bought a few packets in the lead up to Easter and debated the merits of extra fruity or extra spicy varieties and voted which store’s were best. But I always draw the line at marmite Hot Cross buns, salted caramel or cranberry. I just want the traditional spicy fruity ones perhaps with a bit of orange zest. This year I waited until I’d made the first batch on Good Friday. I have to admit that I find it a bit perplexing that people now want everything available ALL of the time. Some foods are a seasonal treat, strongly associated with festivals at specific times of the year. So why not wait and enjoy them then? Isn’t that what makes them special? There’s no reason why you can’t bake or buy teacakes or a fruit loaf in between anyway. Here’s a bit of history and info about Hot Cross buns because I know not everyone reading will have ever eaten them or bought them.

I really needed a walk last night. We wandered off around the fields as the sun was beginning to go down and it was perfect. Still warm and bright. Good Friday was a very good Friday; a day of socialising, eating delicious roast pork and then blueberry tart for lunch and catching up with family. And what a lovely day it was, gorgeously warm t-shirt weather, sunglasses and suncream on while we sat on the patio in the garden. The borders were full of flowers, shrubs displaying their new leaves and the apple tree was absolutely covered in pink and white blossom.

We had nearly walked our one hour loop and a hare streaked across the field in front. He had been ambling along and then suddenly stopped quite a distance ahead, looking fully alert, ears up. I think he must have heard us. When he took off, streaming across the grass, it was magical. We see hares often but I will never become blasé about it.

What are your plans today and for the rest of the weekend? I hope you are able to do whatever makes you feel relaxed and happy, at least some of the time.

7 thoughts on “Happy Easter

  1. I’ve never tried proving dough in the fridge though maybe this year I might as well have done. My hot cross bun dough did feel a little cool when I went to put it in the airing cupboard and then it took till early afternoon to double and then till early evening for the formed buns to double again. I would have thought you could shape the buns before putting in the fridge. Did you use sourdough starter for your buns or shop yeast?

    • That’s a long time. Is your yeast in date?
      I’ve made overnight proved dough weekly for years for sourdough loaves but only a few times for cinnamon buns and last year’s HCB. Having them ready for breakfast is fabulous.
      This batch was with commercial yeast which I bought last year but haven’t used since I tend to make sourdough breads and foods, like the flatbreads I made last month. Today’s overnight proved dough is sourdough and was much more malleable, but it was out of the fridge for longer and I started it later last night, so it proved for a lot less time. The proof will be in the eating though…good to compare. The sourdough buns have gone straight into the oven after shaping. I’ll let you know which is best.

      • Instant yeast only bought a week or two ago (was making ordinary bread fine) but the dough wasn’t warm like it should have been and with the good weather the airing cupboard wasn’t as warm as normal. I have had problems before with a rich dough like this. Interesting that your sourdough can go in the oven straight after shaping.

        • Did you warm the milk? That usually gets it all going.
          You prove overnight, heat the cast iron pot and then flop the dough into it and bake from cold, no probs because it’s all ragingly hot.
          The bun dough comes up to room temp – well ish – and then you shape and leave it puff up for about 45 mins. Unless you forget and pop them straight in – but they’ve risen in the oven and we are about to try one (SD this time.)

          • Yes I warmed the milk but didn’t want it to be too hot and what with there not being as much as with water for bread (because of the egg) and kneading for a bit on a cold worktop (after using food processor) it wasn’t as warm as when I make my bread. I can see using cast iron pot would make a difference. Now I use my food processor to knead the bread, and it’s amazing how it does it so well, so quickly, I just it put on baking tray.

            • I never knead by hand – too sore – but for years I’d been using my Kenwood’s dough hook anyway. Stretch and fold is one handed and works well for sourdough.

              I bet they were worth the wait and tasted great anyway! Happy Easter Jane

  2. You and RJ are amazing. I have road tried hot cross buns this year. M and S are undoubtedly the best, and salted caramel whilst hot traditional were yummiest. How exciting to see hares often. Still very special when I spot one. I’m about to start to cook an enormous leg of lamb for a family lunch. Happy Easter.

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