Friday, April 30, 2010

Hot Cross Buns

Ok, so I went out some days back to buy some heavy cream & Oreos but came home with a Bread Maker instead. 

I blame my impulsiveness on cabin fever: my kids have had chickenpox and as a consequence we've all been confined inside the house far too many days. Add to that, the stress of meeting deadlines and finding time to study.
Ever since I've gone back to school, Wednesdays are the longest and most stressful days of the week for me. It's the last day of the study-week and I have huge assignments due. So I treat myself by giving myself Thursdays completely off. I don't think/read/write or do anything else the entire day if I can help it. 

That is just what I was doing last night after we got home from having dinner out. I was poking around in the kitchen to come up with 'something sweet' (and ready-made) for my dessert-craving husband when it struck me to finally unpack the much coveted bread maker and give it test run. It didn't really matter that it was past 9 p.m. I just had to try it out: according to my husband, I don't  understand the concept of 'chilling out'. 

After a brief search online, I came up with a recipe for Pull-Apart Hot Cross Buns on Allrecipes. I was initially going to go with a recipe for a basic loaf of bread but the cardamom in the ingredient list drew me to this recipe. 

I had all the ingredients on hand except ... the flour! But I discovered a bag of whole-wheat flour and decided to substitute with that instead. The recipe required me to dump all the ingredients into my bread maker and set it on the 'Dough' cycle. Sounds simple, right? Only if you follow the instructions on your breadmakers' manual: I dumped everything in and an hour later, it didn't look very dough-like. 

Took a look at the manual. Duh! Pour in the water or other wet ingredients first. Which I  . . hadn't done. 

No big deal, I just took the very, very sticky dough out and kneaded it only slightly with well-floured hands. I added in some raisins, divided the dough into 12 as directed and left the balls of dough to rise in a 9x13 pan. 

They rose to gargantuan size. I thought about taking them all out and dividing them further into 24, but then (feeling lazy) baked them as they were. 

Result: Aromatic, soft  and huge hot cross buns that are subtly spiced and not overly sweet. We waited till this morning to eat them for breakfast and let me tell you how they tasted in one word: delicious.

Pull- Apart Hot Cross Buns
adapted from Allrecipes
1 x 0.25 oz package dry active yeast
1/4 cup water
4 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 1/4 cup lukewarm milk
1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
1 egg
1/4 cup raisins

1 1/8 cup confectioners sugar
1/8 cup milk
1/2 tsp almond extract

Sprinkle the yeast over warm water and let it stand for 5 mins. 

Place the flour, salt, sugar, cardamom, milk, butter and egg into the bread machine (as per manufacturers instructions). 

Pour the yeast on top. Close the lid and set the machine for dough setting. Add raisins, if using, when it beeps. 

When the dough is finished, divide it into 12 portions and shape into balls. Place them into a greased 9x13 inch baking dish, cover with clingfilm and set aside to rise till double in size (about 45 mins).

Remove clingfilm. Bake at 350 for 20 - 25 minutes. 

Set aside to cool completely. Whisk together the milk, confectioners sugar and almond extract. Drizzle over cooled buns in a cross shape. 

Now that I own a bread maker, watch out for more Yeastspotting on this page ;-) 


Susi said...

Oh my, I sure wish I had one of those right now with my cup of coffee. They look delicious!!!

Tee said...

Only you could "throw" things into a bread maker and come up with this! I simply cannot bake anything! Ever!

tasteofbeirut said...

These look fluffy and healthy too! Great with my AM coffee, if I could get a hold of one or two!

Gulmohar said...

Toothsome...Wish I could grab one of those to go with my coffee :-)


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