Paul Hollywood’s Hot Cross Buns.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I am about two weeks behind with my blog. I am so sorry if you are thinking, what on earth is she banging on about hot cross buns for? Easter was ages ago!  So, here I am trying to catch up again.

I couldn’t stop thinking about Hot Cross Buns after I watched The Great British Bake Off  and the Easter Special where Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood shared all their favourite Easter bakes.  I have really enjoyed watching their one off specials, the Christmas and the Easter one were fab and provided us GBBO addicts with a quick fix until the next series appears on our screens.  I love the friendly banter between Mary and Paul on screen and I’m sure their delicious recipes had been lovingly recreated in thousands of homes following the TV screenings.

After the Easter special was aired, all I could think about was blinking hot cross buns!  It was 9pm, I had had my tea and wasn’t even hungry but Paul’s delicious, mouthwatering buns made me think about a spicy, fruity hot cross bun, split open and toasted with melted butter on top.  I just had to have a go at making some of my own.

If you would like to have a go at making Paul’s recipe for hot cross buns, then here is the link to the Good Food Website. http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/2066661/hot-cross-buns  I followed the recipe from Paul’s book “How To Bake”.

Paul made it look so easy, so surely I wouldn’t have any problems. Or would I?  On Good Friday morning I planned to do just that, to make some buns for the weekend as my Mum was coming up to stay at Easter. All in all, I got sidetracked so it wasn’t until the Saturday morning that I could actually get down to business.

So after the dog was walked, we had all had breakfast, my hubby went off into town to get some bits and pieces.  I got out my KitchenAid and put the flour, salt, sugar, yeast, warm milk and butter into the bowl in the way the recipe said.  I know I was cheating getting my mixer to do the kneading but it meant that I had 10 minutes to do another job.  So while it was churning away on a slow speed, I went off upstairs and got some laundry on.  I managed to get the dough out of the mixing bowl and into the bowl where it was going to prove. The warmest room in the house was my utility room and as it was raining, my dryer was going. Still didn’t make a difference though.

The proving dough which was placed in a lightly oiled bowl and left in a warm place.  Easier said than done!
The proving dough which was placed in a lightly oiled bowl and left in a warm place. Easier said than done!

After about 3 hours I went back to the bowl. This was after lunchtime and as I was still in running around doing other jobs mode, I had forgotten about the buns. I was disappointed to see the dough had not risen very much at all.  As ever, my unsympathetic husband said “Why didn’t you go and buy some yesterday instead of bothering with all the hassle!” He just didn’t get it. I wanted to make my own like everyone else seemed to be doing!  With minutes to go before having to go out to get my haircut, I just tipped the dough back in the bowl and put it back in the Utility room to deal with afterwards.  While I was out I nipped into the bakery and bought 8 teacakes as they had run out of hot cross buns and thought well I suppose they could have crosses piped on them!

The dough was split into twelve equal pieces to make the individual buns and then left to prove again.
The dough was split into twelve equal pieces to make the individual buns and then left to prove again.

When I got home at about 4 pm there was a nice surprise as the dough HAD risen after all. I added some chopped apple, cinnamon, orange zest and dried fruit to the mixture and left it to prove again for a little while.  The proving process didn’t seem to work here so I went on Twitter moaning about it and one friend came back with a suggestion to put the dough on a baking tray on top of some simmering water. This seemed to help no end. I came back to it later and finally separated the buns into twelve pieces.  The smell was gorgeous already and I was greeted with a delicious spicy aroma in my kitchen.

Don't laugh!!!  Ok then, go on because I did. This is what happens when you use the wrong nozzle to pipe the crosses onto the top of the buns!
Don’t laugh!!! Ok then, go on because I did. This is what happens when you use the wrong nozzle to pipe the crosses onto the top of the buns!

Once the buns were ready to have their crosses piped on I was in a hurrying mood. My mum was due to arrive and I hadn’t sorted out her bedroom ready for her.  I thought I’d better crack on with the crosses so I mixed up some flour and water to a stiff paste and added this to a large piping bag.  The trouble was I used the wrong nozzle, one which was far too big so that the crosses completely covered the top of the buns. This also made them a bit stodgy on top.

Into the oven they went but the panic wasn’t over until they were finished and cooling on the side.  No one was very complimentary about them , well who can blame them?

On Easter Sunday morning I toasted the hot cross buns and spread them with butter.  Even though their appearance was off putting, I can safely say they tasted a lot better than they looked.  Even my son, who is a fussy eater enjoyed them.

Oh well, there’s room for improvement next year!

Happy Baking!

Love Sam xx

 

 

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