i’ve been making bread on and off since my childhood. we used to spend many sundays with my dad sitting around the potbelly stove reading and watching old movies on tv waiting for the bread to rise; every surface covered with tea-towel covered trays of plaited rolls, french sticks, cottage loaves and bread rolls. it still amazes me that soft dough can, if left long enough, rise up and bake into delicious bread. these days i have a breadmaker which i sometimes use to make dough. then i shape it as i like before a 2nd rising and baking. with the recent addition of our Thermomix to the kitchen, i can now grind the grains and then knead the dough in it, then shape and rise as i like.
so last night, i made dough for hot cross buns in the Thermomix, and let it rise overnight. then i shaped them this morning, 2nd rising, then baked them in time for breakfast. The only fruit I had to add was some sultanas and lemon rind. delicious.
so don’t buy those overpriced over-preservatived (a new word i guess) and lifeless hot cross buns in the supermarket (hot cross buns with no fruit or with choc chips??!!) just make them, you can do it, it’s easy. this is my recipe from the Thermomix cookbook, adapted to make by hand:
500g bakers flour (you can buy this, or you can grind your own mixture of grains – rye and buckwheat make good buns – or use your own mixture of flours.
250g warm milk
20g fresh yeast or 2 sachets of dry yeast (30g)
1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
1.5 tsp ground nutmeg
0.5tsp ground cloves
150g dried fruit of your choice – currants, cranberries, sultanas
20g finely grated or pulverised citrus peel
Mix all ingredients except fruit into a bowl, mix and knead to a soft dough. knead for 10mins, add in fruit. Put in a warm place to prove for 1-2 hours. You can leave it overnight if it is covered. (if you want to use a breadmaker, just put all ingredients into the tin, set to dough setting) Shape into rolls, place close together on a greased baking tray, cover, let prove for another 15 mins. Pipe with crosses (flour and water paste) if you like, bake for 10-15mins at 200 degrees.
This will make about a dozen. i usually freeze 6 immediately for a quick breakfast or morning tea.