Thursday, April 5, 2012

Giant Rustic Hot Cross Bun (re-post)

I doubt that our neighbours cook very much. "What are you burning now?" has resounded angrily from one particular house more than once. I often hear them talking of buying pizza or KFC for dinner, and the kids protesting because they're sick of it. No matter--each to their own. But how nice it is to come home to a delicious aroma issuing down from the kitchen through the garden! I love walking down the street and on occasion coming across some delightful baker's house issuing strong smells of hot vanilla muffins or a great BBQ on a summer afternoon. Unfortunately its not something you come across all that often. Imagine how great the villages a hundred years or so would have smelled! Fresh bread baking every morning from every house! Ahhhhhh bliss.
I don't think much beats the scent of freshly baked bread. My brother used to bake bread and it was simply to die for when it came out of the oven, with a slathering of butter--it was all too good. I have the best memories of his bread, and I shall soon bribe him for the recipe and perhaps a cooking class on how to get it so incredibly delicious and irresistible.
In the mean time, I try a few things when I have the time to try and replicate that fresh bread smell. Here's a great one for Easter morning...its great toasted with butter too!


200lm milk
1 tsp caster sugar
7g sachet dry yeast
400g SR Flour
2tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp salt
50g brown sugar
175g mixed dried fruit
50g butter, melted, cooled
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tbs plain flour
2 tbs caster sugar, extra

Heat the milk in a saucepan over a medium heat until lukewarm. Combine the caster sugar, yeast and 100g flour with the warm milk in a bowl and stir until smooth. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave in a warm place for 25 minutes.
Grease a 18cm spring form pan.
In a large bowl, sift together cinnamon, nutmeg, remaining flour and salt. Stir in the brown sugar and dried fruit, then add the yeast mixture, egg and cooled melted butter. Bring the mixture together with your hands, kneading for 2-3 minutes until combined. Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead thoroughly for 5-6 minutes or until you have a smooth dough. Shape the dough into a round and place in the pan. Set it in a warm place, covered with a clean tea towel, for 1 1/2 hours. The dough should ride to just above the rim of the pan.
Preheat the oven to 200C.
For the cross decoration, combine the plain flour with 2 tablespoons of cold water and stir into a paste. Pipe a cross onto the uncooked bun just before placing in the oven. Bake for 30-35 minutes until cooked through. Cool slightly in pan before turning onto a wire rack to cool. For the glaze, combine the extra caster sugar with2 tablespoons of water in a saucepan and boil until the sugar dissolves. brush onto the cooling bun. Serve warm with butter. Any remaining bun can be toasted the next day.

1 comment:

  1. My Mom baked everything (I have 5 brothers), I loved coming home from school to the scent of fresh bread or cookies.
    This looks delicious, very beautiful bread.


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