It's the perfect autumn day in Melbourne today. The sun is shining and there's that slight winter nip in the air, so you feel inclined to open the blinds and the windows and let that fresh, healing sunlight stream on in.
The only thing missing is the blaze of autumn colour lacking in my street. (Rose hips is the best I can do in the way of Autumn hues). At home (NZ) the farm is dotted with vibrant Liquid Amber's, and chestnuts crunch and prickle on the ground... Perhaps I should invest in a potted maple so Bug and Bebe can fully appreciate the blaze of true autumn.
Anyway I'm babbling again. The point of this is that it's also a perfect day to embark on some hot cross bun baking. It's also the Thursday before Good Friday meaning it's a bit late for anyone fancying creating their own batch in time for Easter. Sorry.
I used this recipe for sticky spelt hot cross buns from City Hippy Farm Girl. I would love to try the sour dough version and must get a starter started. But we made the yeasted version. These are great for those with minis, as they have a lot of rises but very little kneading they so your not covered in dough and flour while trying to stop your mini hugging your mini-mini to death.
Bug had her own bowl, measuring cups and spoons and a scant handful of fruit and desiccated coconut to mix measure and eat (a great way to keep toddlers sticky little fingers out of your baking).
I used 250gm of Angas Park fruit medley which is a mix of sultanas, apricots, apples, peaches and pear. Then I added an extra handful of sultanas (cause you can never have too much fruit). I only had calvados so that went in instead of regular brandy, and because I didn't buy my dried fruit till this morning I only soaked it for 20mins or so, instead of overnight. I also forgot the raw sugar so I just used caster sugar.
After the first rest I mixed the butter and salt in by hand to make sure everything was incorporated properly, and put it into a clean bowl for the first rise.
My sister and I have made it a tradition to make hot cross buns ever since she moved to Melbourne so I was a bit sad that she was working a split shift and wouldn't be here to help. However she turned up just in time to do the crosses. Yay!
As you can see we just spooned the cross mix on, rather than pipe then. The cross mix may have been a little thin as they spread a bit. Never mind, they taste amazing and that's all that matters! Next time though, I think a bit of egg wash or a milk glaze, would give them a prettier finish.
Wishing you all a yummy Easter