Week three of my new job and the packed lunches are still going strong. The dessert side of things still needs working on, I did not manage to make anymore scones in the week. This Sunday I decided to use my library of cooking books for inspiration. The first one that caught my eye was a Mary Berry recipe. No it is not Easter but I’ve never made hot cross buns before so I looked forward to the challenge.
The process was interesting…
I did not quite manage to get the dough to rise.
However the result was rather nice.
50g dried cranberries
450g strong white flour
7g sachet easy-blend dried yeast
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp ground mixed spice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
50g light muscovado sugar
150ml almond milk
1 large eat, beaten
sunflower oil, for greasing
For the crosses and glaze
2 tbsp plain flour
2 tsp granulated sugar
1. Melt the butter and let it cool. Mix the sultanas and cranberries in a large bowl and set aside. Combine the strong white flour, yeast, salt, spices, and sugar in a separate large bowl. Heat the milk with 5 tablespoons of water until hand-warm. Make a dip in the flour mixture and pour in the cooled butter and beaten egg. Add the warm milk and water in a starry stream, while mixing everything together with a round-bladed knife. Gather the dough into a ball.
2. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 8 – 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Lay the dough on top of the dried fruit mix in the bowl and knead together to combine. To finish working in the fruit, tip the dough onto the work surface again and knead for 1 – 2 minutes. Shape the dough into a round and place it in a large, lightly oiled bowl. Cover with cling film and leave in a warm place for about 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in size. Lightly grease the loaf tin and line the bottom with baking parchment.
3. Tip the risen dough out onto the work surface and knead it just 3 or 4 times. Divide the dough out onto the work surface and knead it just 3 or 4 times. Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces. Shape each one into an oval. Place each piece in the tin in a line. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave in a warm place to rise for about 50 minutes to 1 hour or until the dough reaches about 5 cm (2 in) above the top of the tin. Preheat the oven to 230oC.
4. For the crosses, make a small piping bag out of parchment. Mix the plain flour with 4 1/2 teaspoons of cold water in a small bowl to make a smooth paste, then spoon it into the piping bag. When the dough has risen, pipe a cross on top of each piece.
5. Bake for 5 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 220oC and bake for a further 15 minutes, covering the top loosely with foil when the top is golden brown. Bake for 5 – 10 minutes more. The loaf is done when it feels firm.
6. Make the glaze: mix the granulated sugar with 1 teaspoon of cold water. Loosen the sides of the loaf with a small, round-bladed knife, then turn out of the tin. Peel off the baking parchment and place the loaf on a wire rack. Brush the glaze over the top of the loaf while it is still warm. Slice when the loaf is cold.