5 April 2010

Easter Baking Part 1

Going away from tradition this year, I did not make kozunak this year. Instead I decided to try my hand at Hot Cross Buns, an English tradition around Easter. Actually very much like the Semla buns in Sweden, these are available on the 2nd of January, when people haven't quite recovered from the Christmas celebrations.

The idea came from this blog entry on the WildYeastBlog. With one modification - I'd mix the dough on the evening of Easter Saturday, refrigerate, then shape and bake on the morning of Easter Sunday, so that they would be nice and warm by the time our guests arrived.

As expected the dough rose nicely despite being in the fridge. I was a bit uncertain about the ground allspice that went into the dough, but the end result was fantastic. What I didn't like was the paste for the crosses. I ended up adding a lot more water than Susan's recipe states, and it was still pretty thick and I had to use a flat nozzle to pipe it in the end and my hands went shaky afterwards.

The other thing I didn't like about the paste was the fact that even making extra wide crosses, I only used up about a quarter of the paste and had to throw away the rest.

Here is what they looked like just before going into the oven.


And here they are after baking and glazing.


As you can see I missed a bit on one of the buns and it has only a stripe rather than a cross.

Oh, and I baked them for 18 minutes on 200 degrees C, instead of starting off at a higher temperature and reducing after 7 minutes.

The glaze remained sticky throughout, but I sort of expected that. I'd bought clotted cream and raspberry jam and that was definitely a winning combination.

So, I'd definitely repeat these once I've found a different paste recipe.

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