Easter Hot Cross Buns

Easter Hot Cross Buns

Hello Everyone! It’s been a while hasn’t it? Bare with me as I get back on track with my posting schedule, but I must warn you once again that I may or may not be travelling back to the Philippines, and as you already know, Internet connection will once again be disrupted, but hopefully for only a week or so. I am aware that it is a Sunday, and on amcarmenskitchen it should in fact be a Review Sunday! But not today for I have a special post for you guys tonight as it is Easter Sunday! I will sort out my reviews from various places that I visited during my month-long trip to the Philippines and get working on them to have one up for next week.

I remember how every bakery in Sydney, be in along the streets, inside a shopping centre, or supermarket, smelled of freshly baked hot cross buns. I definitely miss those chocolate chip flavoured ones from Baker’s Delight! A hot cross bun is a spiced sweet bun made with currants or raisins and marked with a cross on the top, traditionally eaten on Good Friday in most parts of Europe, the United States, and Australia/New Zealand. Apparently, hot cross buns may go on sale in Australia and New Zealand as early as New Year’s Day or even right after Christmas.

Easter Hot Cross Buns

To be honest, I was quite reluctant on whether or not I should post this up because a few things went wrong even though I followed the recipe from Taste very carefully. My buns did not at all look like the photograph and I think it because I under baked the buns (even though I followed the recipe). Okay, I technically didn’t quite follow it because the dough was very wet and quite sticky so I added probably the equivalent of about 1/2 or 3/4 more cups of flour. Maybe this is where it went wrong? I don’t know. Half of the buns deflated when I removed them from the oven (this is why I mentioned that I may have quite possibly under baked them), and they were still pretty pale when they had an extra 15 minutes in the oven. The crosses ended up appearing the same in terms of colour as the bun and didn’t look as evident. Oh the many mishaps; and now you see why I was hesitant to show my fail buns. Anyway, I deserve an A for effort as this is my first time making bread ever! And even still I am showing you my result!

When I reheated the buns again our small electric oven for about 6-8 minutes (for our afternoon snack), the tops browned nicely; and it was only then did I decide that maybe I should post it on my blog even if they don’t look that appetising. However, by this time, having been in the oven for quite some time since the initial baking, the bottoms and even the outside became quite crusty, however, the inside remained soft and dense. The 6 that are missing from the photograph were the deflated ones that we ate, and so I only managed to photograph the remaining 6. I will definitely give this recipe another go some other time.

Easter Hot Cross Buns Ingredients

PREP TIME 2 HOURS 20 MINS | COOKING TIME 20-25 MINS | MAKES 12 BUNS

INGREDIENTS

For the dough

  • 4 cups plain flour
  • 1 & 1/2 cups of raisins (or currents/sultanas)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup caster sugar
  • 40g butter
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 sachets (7g each) dried yeast
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp mixed spices (I used cinnamon, cloves, & nutmeg)
  • Pinch of salt

For the flour paste

  • 1/4 cup plain flour
  • 3 tbsp water

For the glaze

  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • Butter to serve

METHOD

  1. Bread Dough: Combine flour, yeast, sugar, mixed spices, and salt in a large bowl.
  2. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat and then add in the milk. Heat for about a minute, or until the mixture is lukewarm. Add warm milk mixture and eggs to flour mixture. Then, using a flat-bladed knife, mix until the dough almost comes together. Use clean hands to finish mixing to form a soft dough.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes, or until the dough is smooth. Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 1 to 1 & 1/2 hours, or until the dough doubles in size.
  4. Punch the dough down to its original size and add the raisins to the dough. Knead with the raisins for about a minute on a lightly floured surface until smooth. Divide into 12 even portions. Shape each portion into a ball. Place balls onto a large tray lined with baking paper, about 1cm apart, and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 30 minutes, or until buns double in size. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 190C.
  5. Flour Paste: Mix flour and water together in a small bowl until smooth, adding a little more water if paste is too thick. Spoon into a small snap-lock bag and snip off a corner of the bag. Pipe flour paste over tops of buns to form crosses.
  6. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until buns are cooked through.
  7. Glaze: Place water and sugar into a small saucepan over low heat, and stir until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil and let it boil for about 3-4 minutes. Then, brush the warm glaze over the hot cross buns. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Easter Hot Cross Buns

Easter Hot Cross Buns

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Cranberry & Pistachio Cookies

Cranberry & Pistachio Cookies

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16 ESV)

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Happy Easter everyone! I spent my day eating, shopping, walking, and eating some more with my food buddy Jialing and her boyfriend Zargham. It started off with lunch at the newly opened Roadside Café in Kingsford, then we made our way to the city to do some unnecessary shopping. Most of the stores in Pitt Street and the Westfield were closed because of the Easter holidays but as you walked towards Market City, stores were opened and busy with insane sales. We made this conclusion: “Asians” not that we were being racist being Asians ourselves, just pointing out the obvious stereotypes.

Anyway, on our shopping trip, we stopped by a store called General Pants Co. along George Street. I met a saleslady and her name was Shannon (apologies if this isn’t how you spell your name). We talked about what we’re up to for the Easter long weekend, and she mentioned that she was wanting to do some baking today. I mentioned to her that I recently started a food blog and gave her my link. Shannon, if you’re reading this, hope you enjoy my blog! Feel free to share with your family and friends 🙂

We ended the night having dinner at Chinese Noodle House, and about $80 poorer from food and shopping today.

Cranberry & Pistachio Cookies

I wanted to make something special for Easter but I didn’t get around to being out all day. So nevertheless, I pulled out an old recipe as requested by one of my friends, Miss Yvonne Wang. She has had these cookies many times and always gave it a big thumbs up. So just for her, and of course everyone else, today’s recipe as titled: Cranberry & Pistachio Cookies

I originally followed this recipe and tweaked it a bit, so please do check out the original as well by the BBC GoodFood

Cranberry & Pistachio Cookies

PREP TIME 1 HOUR 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 12-15 MINS |
MAKES 
2 DOZEN COOKIES

INGREDIENTS

For the cookie dough

  • 175g unsalted butter, cut into chucks
  • 1/3 cup caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1/3 cup pistachios, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped

For the pistachio paste

  • 1/4 cup pistachios
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar
  • 3 tbsp cold water

METHOD

  1. Combine the pistachio paste ingredients in a blender and blend until pistachios are roughly chopped and combined (does not have to be smooth in texture). Set aside until needed.
  2. Toss the butter, sugar and vanilla extract with a spoon. Add the flour, pistachios and cranberries into the mix and stir – you might need to use your hands at this stage to bring the mix together as a crumble mix. Add in the pistachio paste and stir it in to combine as a dough.
  3. Half the dough and shape each half into a log. Cover in cling wrap and chill in the refrigerator for a minimum of 1 hour before baking, or alternatively, the dough can be kept in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  4. Preheat the oven to 180C. Slice the logs into about 1cm thick rounds and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely on the tray.

Cranberry & Pistachio Cookies

Cranberry & Pistachio Cookies

BON APPÉTIT!

– Ally xx

myTaste.com