By: Mrs Robot
I love hot cross buns. Even though I'm not religious, they're part of the food culture I've grown up with, so I try to eat them only around Easter time. Things can become boring if you have them whenever you want. That's not to say you shouldn't have something if you really want it, just that it's a shame if everything becomes commonplace and there's nothing to look forward to.
Despite loving hot cross buns, I'd never actually made them until this weekend. I started trying yeast cookery in 2015, and this year felt brave enough to tackle the buns. Also, I have been extraordinarily annoyed by shops bringing out nonsense variations like 'double chocolate hot cross buns.'* The recipe I used was from Julie Duff's book Cakes Regional and Traditional. Oddly, the recipe she gave didn't include the piped-on cross, but the buns in the photo in the book had clearly had a flour/water mixture piped on to make the cross shape. Luckily I'd seen enough other people making them to know that the decoration needed piping on. (Kavey's Hot Multicultural Buns being the most recent example.**)
However, I'm getting ahead of myself. I first attempted the buns on Good Friday and misread the instructions on the yeast, so added a teaspoonful instead of a tablespoonful. Oh dear. After several hours waiting for it to rise, I realised my error and the dough went in the bin. On Easter Sunday I tried again with the correct amount of yeast and, appropriately, this time they rose.
*STOP MESSING AROUND WITH OUR TRADITIONS, YOU GITS.
** This I do not class as messing around with tradition as it is taking something traditional and sharing it with everyone, as opposed to taking something traditional and throwing that tradition out of the window for the sake of chocolate.