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.
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.
PREP TIME 2 HOURS 20 MINS| COOKING TIME 20-25 MINS| MAKES 12 BUNS
For the dough
4 cups plain flour
1 & 1/2 cups of raisins (or currents/sultanas)
1 cup milk
1/4 cup caster sugar
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
Bread Dough: Combine flour, yeast, sugar, mixed spices, and salt in a large bowl.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until buns are cooked through.
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.
Hello Everyone! So I think I mentioned that last week was supposed to be Muffin Making Monday, but because I was still travelling the outback, scaling one of the best climbs from that trip, and ever, at Kings Canyon. I do apologise if I happen to bring this up in every single post for the next couple of weeks – I just can’t get over such an amazing trip!
Anyway, so technically Jialing and I had our Muffin Making Monday… on a Sunday. Jialing got called into work just for this Monday, but we still didn’t want to miss out on muffins as to quote Jialing “I didn’t have breakfast for the past two weeks” *insert sad face emoji*. So we then decided to bake on Sunday instead! Jialing again whipped up her Raspberry & White Chocolate with Lemon Streusel Muffins (she actually wanted to do a mixed berry one this time, but gutted that Coles ran out of them when we went to do our groceries together). And as the heading of this post states, I made Citrus Poppyseed Muffins, which Jialing actually made before and tasted so good that I wanted to make them for myself this time around. Please check out the original recipe over on Sally’s Baking Addiction. The original recipe calls for 3 tablespoons of poppyseeds, but because I used what Jialing had leftover from last time. I think I only had about a tablespoon for these so they aren’t quite as evident in the photographs.
Poppyseed fun fact: It takes 2,000,000 of these tiny black polka dots to equal one kilo.
PREP TIME 10 MINS| COOKING TIME 15-18 MINS| MAKES 12 MUFFINS
2 & 1/3 cups plain flour
1/2 cup Greek or regular yoghurt
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
115g salted butter, melted
2 large free range eggs
Juice and zest of 2 medium-sized lemons
Juice and zest of 1 large orange
3 tbsp poppyseeds
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
Coarse sugar, for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 220C. Line a 12 hole muffin pan with paper cases.
Whisk the flour, white sugar, brown sugar, poppyseeds, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl until well combined. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk the melted butter, lemon juice, lemon zest, orange juice, and orange zest together thoroughly mixed. Then, whisk in the eggs one at a time, and then whisk in the yoghurt and vanilla.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and gently mix together until no pockets of flour remain. Be careful as to not over mix the batter. The consistency of the batter should be quite thick.
Spoon the thick batter into the muffin cups, filling them all the way to the top and sprinkle each with additional lemon and orange zest as well as coarse sugar.
Bake in the oven for 5 minutes at 220C. Then, reduce oven temperature to 190C and continue to bake for 10-13 minutes longer or until tops are lightly golden. To check if they are done, insert a toothpick in the centre of the muffin. If it’s cooked through, the toothpick should come out clean, if not then bake further at 2-3 minute intervals (as to not accidentally over bake them).
Once done, remove from the over and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Muffins stay fresh in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
The most wonderful thing about life when it comes to food is breakfast. I always look forward to breakfast, but I think 90% of the time I actually go without having a proper breakfast, or no breakfast at all – which does sadden me a bit. This is either because I get up too late for breakfast and just skip to brunch, or when I do get up early, I’m rushing off to Uni and usually grab a banana or whatever fruit I have lying around on my way out (which also rarely happens so I just end up waiting until class is over and then packed left-over lunch it is).
What makes me happy though is that I can have Breakfast for Lunch or Breakfast for Dinner. Breakfast all day everyday (please excuse my apparent over-excitement over breakfast). Today, I had my breakfast for lunch, and man it was so good. Who doesn’t love bacon and eggs for lunch?
PREP TIME 5 MINS| COOKING TIME 10-15 MINS| SERVES 1
1 slice of wholemeal bread, toasted, buttered & cut diagonally in half
2 slices of gourmet tomatoes, grilled
2 fresh free range eggs at room temperature, poached
3 slices of rindless bacon, grilled
Handful of loose leaf baby spinach, wilted
1 tbsp white vinegar
Knob of unsalted butter
Ground salt and pepper to taste
Poaching the eggs:
Bring small saucepan of water to the boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to low-medium – the water should be just simmering. Add in the vinegar and stir.
Crack one egg into a small bowl and quickly, but gently pour it into the water. Repeat with the other egg. A really soft poached egg should take around 2 minutes, but if you want it a bit more firm, it will take about 4 minutes. To check if they’re cooked right, carefully remove the egg from the pan with a slotted spoon and give the yolk a gentle push (you can tell just by your instincts if it is under or overcooked – or perfect)!
I honestly think that the rest is pretty self-explanatory.