Kitchen Therapy


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Choc Chip Hot Cross Buns

This Month’s Fresh From the Oven Challenge was Hot Cross Buns set for us by Sarah from Simply Cooked.

Year after year I buy hot cross buns, however my feelings towards these great smelling rolls are somewhat ambivalent.
I love raisin toast, I love cinnamon so why the ambivalence?
My only guess is that in bun form, there is too much crust!
I love the soft, tasty insides however the crusts on both these buns and raisin toast leave me feeling “meh”.
Nevertheless it’s tradition and each year I buy them.
However this year, the kids made it clear the only way they would go near a hot cross bun would be if I bought the choc chip version.
And I have to admit, our local Baker’s Delight store makes a great choc chip hot cross bun!

I’ve never made hot cross buns before and I knew as soon I saw the recipe that I wanted to try a chocolate version!

So with my little helper ready to go…

And Sarah’s recipe from this gorgeous little book…

We created Hot Cross Bun magic!

The house was filled with the most incredible, satisfying, cinnamon aroma.
The baking created a festive mood.
It signalled the arrival of Easter!

Hot Cross Buns
makes 24

4 cups  flour
190 ml lukewarm milk
125 ml lukewarm water
1 x 7gram package active dry yeast
1 Tablespoon sugar
65 grams sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
55 g butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 eggs
200 grams choc chips 

orange glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 Tablespoon orange juice

Steps

1. Combine 125 grams of the flour, the milk, water, yeast, and 1 T sugar in a bowl and beat well.
2. Set in a warm place until frothy.
3. Melt butter then put aside to cool.
4. To the bowl containing the yeast mixture, add the remaining sugar, salt, melted butter and spices.
5. Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
6. Add another 125 grams of flour and beat for 5 minutes with an electric mixer.
7. Gradually add the remaining flour and choc chips.
8. Turn mixture onto a floured board and knead until smooth and elastic (8 – 10 minutes). I chose to beat it with paddle attachment in my KitchenAid for the whole time.
9. Place in a greased bowl, turning to grease top of dough.
10. Cover with kitchen towel and set in a warm place until doubled in size.
11. Turn out onto lightly floured board and knead lightly for 2 minutes.
12. Divide dough into 24 equal parts and shape into buns.
13. Place well apart on greased baking tray.
14. Cover and let rise until almost doubled in size (about 30 minutes).
15. Make a cross on each bun with a razor blade or sharp knife. (Which I forgot to do!)
16. Bake at 375 F (190 C) for 15-20 minutes or until golden in colour.
17. Cool on wire rack.
18. To make the glaze, mix all the ingredients.
19. Drizzle over buns once they have cooled in a cross design.
Enjoy!


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Challah Bread – Fresh From the Oven

This month’s Fresh From The Oven challenge was traditional Jewish Challah Bread!
It was hosted by Dom from Belleau Kitchen.

Below is the recipe, copied straight from Dom’s post.

 

Braided Challah Bread
1 sachet (or 7 grams) easy blend dried yeast
1tsp clear honey
8fl oz lukewarm milk
50g melted butter
16oz plain flour
1 tsp salt
2 eggs lightly beaten – in separate bowls – one for the mix and one for glazing
Poppy seed or sesame seeds (optional)

Combine the yeast, honey, milk and butter, stir and leave for 15mins to dissolve
In a large bowl, mix together the flour and salt.  Make a well in the centre and add the yeast mixture and one of the beaten eggs.  Stir to make a dough. (It will be very sticky and will definitely need extra flour for kneading)
Knead till smooth and elastic (a good 15 mins) then transfer to a clean bowl, cover and leave to prove for 1 1/2 hours.
Grease a baking sheet. Knock back the dough and divide into 3 equal pieces.  Roll to shape each piece into a long strip for plaiting. 

Lay 2 of the strips over the third to make a star shape and plait from the centre, tucking the ends under.  Do this on the baking sheet, then cover with a tea towel and leave to rise for 30 mins. 

Brush with egg and bake in a hot oven at 190 for 35 – 40 mins or until golden and sounds hollow if you tap it.

I’ve never  had Challah Bread before and was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was to make!
Dom’s instructions were great and, for what felt like very little effort, I managed to turn out this baby…

The kids came home from school and wanted to know what the great smell was?
I showed them the bread and told them excitedly “I made it! Cool, huh?”
They just rolled their eyes, patted me on the back and said “Sure you did mum…”
And then happily loaded the slices of hot fresh bread with butter and jam!

I glowed with satisfaction the entire weekend! Plaited challah bread! Thanks Dom!