food with sam man­ner­ing

Those su­per­mar­ket-bagged hot cross buns have noth­ing on the ones you can whip up in your own kitchen. And to­day is the best day of the year to get kneading.

Sunday Star-Times - Sunday Magazine - - NEWS - Pho­to­graph & Styling/ Sam Man­ner­ing

Ihave one strict rule when it comes to hot cross buns – if I want them, I have to make them my­self. El­iz­a­beth I banned the sale of hot cross buns, ex­cept on Good Fri­day (and buri­als and Christ­mas) and I think I agree with her. Be­sides, Easter ought to in­clude a spot of ther­a­peu­tic kneading.

I spent a week­end try­ing to get this recipe ex­actly right. As is abun­dantly clear by the photo, my pip­ing skills leave a lot to be de­sired – so, don’t let the dec­o­rat­ing worry you too much.

I try not to be a purist, but I’m not a fan of ad­di­tions such as choco­late. I think the key is to keep it sim­ple.

I see noth­ing wrong, how­ever, with mix­ing up the spices. I know ground cloves aren’t everybody’s cup of tea, but I love them. A lit­tle freshly grated nut­meg is de­li­cious too. So, in­stead of go­ing out to buy them this year, give these hot cross buns a go.


Serves: about 10, depend­ing on how greedy every­one is Prep time: 20 min­utes, plus 1 hour prov­ing time Cook time: 20 min­utes

25g yeast 1 tbsp honey 300ml warm milk 450g flour 1 tsp mixed spice 1 tsp cin­na­mon ½ tsp ground gin­ger ¼ tsp ground cloves 2 tbsp brown sugar 70g but­ter 2 eggs, beaten 120g cur­rants or raisins 50g mixed peel zest of 2 lemons 60g flour, for crosses 1 egg beaten, to glaze

Com­bine yeast, honey and warm milk in a bowl and al­low to stand for about 5 min­utes for the yeast to ac­ti­vate and bub­ble up.

In the mean­time, sift flour, spices and brown sugar into a large mix­ing bowl. Rub but­ter into the dry mix­ture. Com­bine two beaten eggs with the yeast mix­ture and mix well.

Cre­ate a well in the cen­tre of the dry in­gre­di­ents and pour in wet mix­ture. Mix into a soft dough. Knead for sev­eral min­utes un­til smooth, and then add the cur­rants, mixed peel and lemon zest, and work into dough. Re­turn dough to the bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and leave to rise in a warm spot for about half an hour, or un­til it dou­bles in size.

Knock back the risen dough and di­vide into about 16 equal por­tions. Scales are use­ful for this; aim for 80g buns. Shape each evenly and place on a lined bak­ing tray. Us­ing a sharp knife, slash each one with a cross. Al­low the buns to rise again to about dou­ble the size; this will take 20-30 min­utes. Pre­heat oven to 200C. Com­bine the 60g of flour with sev­eral tea­spoons of wa­ter; just enough to make a thick, smooth paste. Use to pipe crosses onto each bun. Care­fully brush each bun with a lit­tle beaten egg to glaze, then bake for 15-20 min­utes, un­til they are well risen and golden. Al­low to cool for at least 20 min­utes be­fore eat­ing.

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