Happy Easter everyone! I hope you have a wonderful day wherever you are, whatever you are doing.
I was really looking forward to making hot cross buns this Easter. For anyone who has never eaten one, they are a sweet, spiced bun decorated with a cross on the top and traditionally eaten on Good Friday, although they are widely available in supermarkets and bakeries here throughout Spring. They can be eaten at any time of day but, like muffins, are especially good at breakfast time or with a cup of tea in the afternoon. But, sadly, this particular baking experience did not meet my expectations. This never happens!
I don't know why, but I just didn't get on very well with this recipe, which was from my new and otherwise excellent Peyton and Byrne baking book. I was not in the baking zone when I made them. I was grumpy and tired and distracted but I wanted to make them over the Easter weekend, because, well that's sort of the point of them, isn't it. The stop start nature of the recipe was annoying, rather than relaxing. Make dough, leave for one hour. Roll out dough, add butter, fold, roll, repeat, leave for another hour. Roll and fold again, leave for thirty minutes. Divide the dough into twelve and leave for another thirty minutes, egg wash, pipe cross, bake, coat with sugar wash.
All of this was not helped by the fact that the recipe is split between two parts of the book, with the dough recipe in one section and the hot cross bun bit in another. All the flipping between pages, losing my page, losing my place in the recipe and covering the book in flour and butter just added to my general irritation.
Luckily, LUCKILY, they taste heavenly. They have so much butter in them I wasn't sure if they needed any more on eating, but I put a bit on anyway. They have a chewier crust than the shop bought ones, and a fluffier inside. The flavour of the spices came through really well. They have a certain rustic "charm" and don't look as uniform as the ones I buy, but who cares, they taste good.