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Homemade Hot Cross Buns

I’ve got a great recipe for homemade hot cross buns.  Also, I have a ton of exciting news!

First: If you don’t feel like making 30 hot cross buns with this recipe I’m bringing to Fiesta Friday today, after a long and regretted absence on my part, you can make two giant hot cross buns and just bake them a little bit longer than for individual buns.

It’s wonderful to be back to this Friday gathering and thanks so much to Petra and Lin for hosting this week.

 

This Easter I had 15 hot cross buns and 1 hot cross loaf and both iterations of the recipe turned out delicious.  Since I nearly always use whatever flour I have on hand for baking, I’ve used half spelt flour which gave an added earthiness and detracted from the usually very sweet taste of hot cross buns, at least for my palate.

Next:  As many of you know, we moved to Vancouver, WA in August last year!

Ladd’s Addition Neighborhood, Portland, OR

Cathedral Park, St. John’s Neighborhood, Portland, OR

More pics at end of post . . . .

The weeks leading up to the move really socked it to my emotional equanimity but once we arrived, all turned out well.  Vancouver is just across the bridge, literally, from Portland, OR, where I work and where I’ve been eating my way through town.  My husband took a job in Amboy, WA, which is kind of in the middle of nowhere but wow is it beautiful country out there.  Stay tuned in the coming months as I share with you all about our move, how strange and fabulous Portland is, and what I’ve been up to in my kitchen and out at restaurants.  For now, I’ve got these awesome hot cross buns, some winter and fun Portland and Washington pics, and a giant hug to all my old friends who are a part of the Fiesta Friday community.

Finally: I’ve also begun writing restaurant reviews with the amazing ladies over at Female Foodie.  Another double-F for the win!  I’m beyond excited, and honored to be a part of this community that not only has the most delicious restaurant recommendation resources for anybody who loves to travel, but also some invaluable information and tools including photography and wordpress blogging tutorials for aspiring food blogger/photographer entrepreneurs.  I have truly learned a ton about photography, monetization, and social media as it relates to food blogging via these gals.  I especially want to mention that for the Female Foodie elite members, there is an upcoming (next Tuesday) webinar with Si Foster from A Bountiful Kitchen who has been a very successful food blogger since 2008.  She will talk to us about her experience growing a food blog/business dedicated to tried and true recipes for the at home cook trying to make practical and delicious food, and will be available for questions.  Since I am trying myself to navigate whether I want to put some more intention and business mindedness into my blog, I for sure will be attending.  Join me!!

Very finally, definitely hop on over there to read my bittersweet burger goodbye song review of one of my favorite places in Los Angeles:  The Apple Pan.

Now, for the homemade hot cross buns recipe:

For the Buns:

  • 300 ml milk (full fat)
  • 50 butter
  • 500 g bread flour:  250 g white flour; 250 g spelt flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 50 g brown sugar
  • 25 g corn syrup
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable or coconut oil, melted
  • 1 packet fast-action yeast
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 75 g golden raisins
  • 50 g zested citrus
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 apple, peeled and chopped

For the Cross:

  • 75 g plain flour, plus extra for dusting

For the Glaze:

  • 3 Tbsp apricot jam, thinned with 1/2 tsp water

Method:

  1. Bring milk to a boil, remove from heat and add butter.  Leave to cool until at room temperature.  Place flour, salt, sugar and yeast into a bowl, making a well in the middle.  Pour in the milk and butter mixture, then add the egg.  Mix well with a wooden spoon, and gather the mix together with your hands until you have a somewhat sticky dough.
  2. Place dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes until smooth and elastic.  Place dough in an oiled bowl, cover with oiled cling wrap and leave to rise in a warm area for 1 hour.
  3. Mix raisins, peel, apple and cinnamon into the dough.  Leave to rise for 1 more hour, until doubled in size.
  4. Divide dough into 15 pieces and roll each piece into a smooth ball.  Arrange buns on two baking trays, either oiled or lined with parchment paper, leaving a bit of space for the buns to expand.  Cover with oiled cling wrap, or a tea towel, and set aside for 1 more hour.
  5. Heat oven to 220/200C (400-425F).  Make the cross slurry with flour and 5 Tbsp water, adding the water 1 tbps at a time.  Spoon into a piping bag with a small nozzle.  Pile along each row of buns, and repeat in other direction to form crosses.  Bake for 20 minutes.
  6. Heat the jam and water very gently and strain out chunks.  While still warm, brush over the buns.

Now for some fun pics:

Amboy, WA

Moulton Falls, WA

Cedar Creek Mill, Cedar Creek, WA

Amboy, WA

The Mill

Amboy, WA

Amboy

Burnside Bridge, Portland, OR

View From Office in Portland, OR

Upper Left Roasters, Ladd’s Addition Neighborhood, Portland, OR

Sweedeedee, Portland, OR

Red Sauce Pizza, Cully Neighborhood, Portland, OR

Cathedral Park, St. John’s Neighborhood, Portland, OR

Rúgbrauð (Icelandic dark rye bread)


icelandic bread 2 (8 of 10)

Did you know that rye is so easy to grow that in Washington it is classified as a Class C noxious weed?  That’s  because it pops up in fields where it hasn’t been planted.   Not surprisingly, its virtue lies in its ability to grow in marginal soil.  Think of some place like, well, Iceland.   Read More

Berry Brioche + Monte Cristo

I didn’t plan on another recipe with purple, but that’s what happened.  My Huckleberry book arrived yesterday and even though I swore the first recipe I’d make was for the “super cheesy rye biscuits” that have long been unavailable at Milo & Olive, Zoe’s restaurant and cafe where they first appeared and where I fell in love with these savories that she admitted she fashioned after a cheez-it, flavor wise.  But the cover image of the blueberry-swirled brioche kept haunting me, after all I’d never made a brioche dough before, and a quick inventory of my kitchen ingredients proved that I actually had everything I needed to make this stunning bread. Read More

“Nuts” Good Paratha

IParatha 9 (1 of 1)

I borrowed Mr. Fitz’s idea to make a type of “nuts good” flatbread, adding sourdough to my dough, letting it sit overnight, then stuffing it with Spinach, Preserved Lemon and Zaatar.  Let’s head over here (yikes) and check it out!

Robin’s Egg Blue; Super Cheesy Rye Bread

Birgerbird’s going blue today.  The background of my blog I mean.  I am forever playing around with color in my cooking, dressing and blogging.  Last night as I was enjoying a scoop of basil ice cream at our neighborhood creamery I spied the espresso & coffee cups at the java station and they were the most beautiful shade of blue.   And their shirts are blue.

The proprietors of this fine ice cream shop also run 3, soon to be 5, restaurants — Milo and Olive, Huckleberry and Rustic Canyon.  The love children of Zoe Nathan Loeb and Josh Loeb, they each have their distinct personality, but all serve fresh, seasonal, creative, soulful food, Milo and Olive and Huckleberry with an emphasis on Zoe’s now-highly-pedigreed, uber-delicious and personal baked goods.  Their team is dedicated to good food, good people, and good vibes, good sustainable practices, and they’ve nailed all 4.  Since all of the restaurants are within 2 miles of our house and my office, I cannot complain about living in Los Angeles.  It just wouldn’t be right.

When Milo and Olive first opened they offered “Super Cheesy Rye Biscuits” and I’ve been pining for them ever since . . . . they don’t appear much any more, if ever.  But Zoe has assured me that the recipe is in her forthcoming book.

So these little blue espresso cups and the TShirt reminded me of when I was a little girl hanging the ornaments on the tree while my parents’ records played in the background, specifically Joan Baez, Judy Collins, Cat Stevens.  And we had a little ornament that was a little bird’s nest, with a robin and her little blue eggs inside.  And the Joan Baez song “Diamonds and Rust” describing, apparently, Bob Dylan’s eyes as being “bluer than Robin’s Eggs” would play over and over.

In the song, Baez recounts a surprise call from an old lover, which sends her 10 years back in time, to a “crummy” hotel in Greenwich Village; she remembers giving him a pair of cuff-links, and summarizes that memories bring “diamonds and rust.” Baez is on record stating that the lyrics refer to her relationship with Bob Dylan.

Well I’ll be damned
Here comes your ghost again
But that’s not unusual
It’s just that the moon is full
And you happened to call
And here I sit
Hand on the telephone
Hearing a voice I’d known
A couple of light years ago
Heading straight for a fall

As I remember your eyes
Were bluer than robin’s eggs
My poetry was lousy you said
Where are you calling from?
A booth in the midwest
Ten years ago
I bought you some cufflinks
You brought me something
We both know what memories can bring
They bring diamonds and rust

Ah, music.  So I put a little Joan Baez radio on iTunes while I put together my experimental cheesy rye bread loaf.  It turned out pretty good, I must say, even if a little wet and dense.

IMG_0387

I basically used a gougere dough recipe because my sourdough starter wasn’t fully ready, and figured the eggs would help with leavening.  No recipe today, guys, gotta work on perfecting this one.

Happy Easter!