March 30, 2013

Traditions: Hot cross buns

With the Easter long weekend finally upon us it was once again time for the annual checking out of TPB's hot buns. Although I've kept this tradition for a few years now it's still early days, and with many variations left to try before settling on an all-time favourite I decided to test drive Felicity Cloake's perfect hot cross buns this time around.

Her recipe was straightforward enough. The base was a light, brioche-like dough, and while I was hesitant about the low (and in my opinion, sissy) quantity of spice, I was hopeful that the long time in steeping would help the flavours come through. Kneading the dried fruit through after the prove was also a little tricky, but it was nice to see such liberal application of peel.

As a sweet bun they were delectable. The spice-kissed buttery dough complemented the citrus notes beautifully and the golden crust was indeed most appealing. Fresh from the oven they were lovely, perhaps even slightly better toasted, but as a hot cross bun?...

My perfect hot cross bun would be dense and chewy in texture, generously studded with plump fruit and sharp citrus appeal, and be heavily spiced. There is no need to be subtle here, and I don't care for anything delicate. I want something robust, that will fill the whole house with its fragrant aromas as they gently brown under the grill. These buns were unquestionably delightful, but for my tastes, not perfect. Oh well, guess I'll just have to try again next year...

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