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Hot X: Algebra Exposed

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years ago I lost 20kg and one of my rules was to only way hot cross buns on Easter weekend and only eat the best. The next day, place 200g of your flour, the yeast and the milk in a large bowl and gently mix to a creamy batter. In Ireland, the UK and as far abroad as New Zealand, Australia, Canada and India, Hot Cross Buns are eaten every Good Friday in Christian communities. You may want to run a fire safety talk or show people how to use the equipment safely, such as for cooking or chopping ingredients, or you may need to remind everyone about ways to be safe around a campfire.

Set aside for 15 minutes, then drizzle with sticky toffee sauce and serve warm with ice cream or cream.Cover (but don’t wrap) with more oiled cling film, or a clean tea towel, then set aside to prove for 1 hr more. The dough mixture is looser, almost like a thick muffin batter, that you mix with a wooden spoon, then leave it to rise and proceed with the same steps as above. These buns had extremely holy connotations and were believed to be able to cure all ills, including the most dreadful diseases. Tip the dried fruit into the dough and knead it in with your hands, so that it is evenly incorporated.

Knead the bowl either by hand or with a machine with a dough hook; if it is too dry add a little more warm milk or water. Meanwhile, tear another hot cross bun into small pieces and toss with some sugar, then bake on a tray at 180°C/160°C fan/gas mark 4 until golden. This is an easy method where you simple put all the dough ingredients in a bowl, then mix on speed 2 for 5 minutes OR knead by hand for about 10 minutes. Just one thing I must be strict about: you do need to use proper bread flour here, not the usual plain.

Carefully take the buns from the warm place and pipe the flour paste to form crosses over the top of each bun.

You can make this recipe with any type of yeast – rapid rise, instant, active dry or even fresh yeast. The spices in hot cross buns are said to represent the spices that were used to embalm Christ after his death.When ready to make the dough add the remaining bread flour, yeast, spices, sugar and salt to the bowl of the Wilfa Probaker and whisk together to combine.

Continue to boil, and remove from the heat just as the glaze starts to thicken (this should take around 5 minutes). After 1 minute, add extra flour if required, just enough so dough comes away from side of bowl when mixing and doesn't stick terribly to your fingers.As the hot cross buns are an annual event I like to have a play around with my recipe every year, making them vegan one year, playing with the flavours the next. Using a wooden spoon, mix well, then bring everything together with your hands until you have a sticky dough. I forgot to baste the buns in egg wash :-( I also made a few changes that I think were worthwhile : 1. Watch video to see the dough before and after kneading, and how I roll the balls to get nice smooth golden tops.

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