For years I have been talking about making hot cross buns. I mean years. They are one of my favourite dough-based snacks ever. Hot and spliced with butter or fresh and squidgy straight from the pack. But I have never made them. Until this year, I finally put my money where my mouth was and made these! Ta da! Impressed?
Hot Cross Rocks
Did I say hot cross buns? What I really meant was hot cross rocks. Perfect for taking out an assailant at 50m a la Crocodile Dundee, but less perfect for eating. That is unless you want to sink to the earth’s molten core with the weight of them. Or lose all your teeth.
The essential problem is they didn’t rise. Not one millimetre.
If I hadn’t wanted to eat one so much, I would have probably thought it quite funny that they didn’t rise – it being Easter and all. And I console myself with the thought that Jesus would have probably laughed too. If he didn’t have nails through his hands.
There’s nothing like the Bible to put things in perspective.
Anyhow, back to baking! The really annoying thing was I followed the recipe exactly. I infused milk with cardamom pods, cloves and orange zest. I mixed mixed peel with strong bread flour, yeast and salt. I kneaded properly. I did everything it said in the recipe, only 12 hours later to find that the dough hadn’t swelled at all. I decided to cook them anyway, although didn’t bother painting the crosses on, realising already they were dead in the water.
It was from the normally amazing Nigella Feast book and I find her recipes nearly always work. So what did I do wrong? Any ideas? Or any failproof recipes? I am hoping my hot cross bun dreams can be resurrected. Lucy