Thursday, 20 March 2008

The Easter Thief

Easter eggs start arriving in our house about 2 weeks before Easter weekend. Eggs of all manner of commercial chocolate are teetering on shelves, safe from the tiny prying hands of my daughter. Unfortunately, the eggs aren't far enough away from my wife's hands and the 2 eggs that the Easter bunny had brought for her have already been snaffled. Can you believe that?

This morning I promised Cerys that we would make some hot cross buns, so it was an early start in the kitchen. I wanted to do a little twist in the buns, something that would take them onto a different level. Cerys' suggestion of everything from potato to cat food were laughed at then rejected, until she mentioned one thing that would do the trick - an Easter egg! And there, wobbling above our heads was half an Easter egg that had been pathetically wrapped back up in that way that tries to make it look as though it had not been opened. My wife has a lot to answer for.

Anyway, into our annual hot cross bun recipe went a roughly chopped Easter egg and the finely grated zest of an orange. The smell alone when baking was enough to drive you mad with hunger. And the little chef and I indulged in a 'test' bun to check that they would be suitable for breakfast tomorrow morning. Does the Easter thief deserve one? I'll leave that up to you, the jury is well and truly out. Happy Easter everybody x

Chocolate and Orange Hot Cross Buns

Makes 10-12

1 tbsp dried yeast
1 tbsp honey
200ml warm water
500g plain flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp mixed spice
50g sultanas
Zest of one orange, finely grated
Half an Easter egg, roughly chopped
2 tbsp honey
25g melted butter
100ml warm milk
1 egg

1 - Mix together the yeast, honey and water and leave for 5-10 minutes in a warm place until it forms a froth and starts to smell.
2 - Sieve the flour into a large mixing bowl. Stir in the salt, spice, sultanas, orange zest and chocolate egg.
3 - Pour in the yeast mixture and stir with a wooden spoon. Mix the egg in with the milk and pour in along with the melted butter and honey, mixing thoroughly. You may need a little more milk. Mix until it comes together into a dough.
4 - Tip onto a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes until a hand indentation pressed into the surface springs back straight away.
5 - Put back into the bowl, cover and leave in a warm place for an hour or so until it has doubled in size. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees C, GM6.
6 - When doubled in size, lightly knead again to get rid of the air. Roll out into a sausage and cut off 10-12 portions. Roll these into balls and place onto a greased and floured baking tray. Cut crosses into the top with a sharp knife then cover again and leave until they double in size again.
7 - Place into a high oven and bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown and make a hollow sound when tapped. Mix a little sugar and water together over heat and brush onto the top to make a sugar glaze.

15 comments:

Peter M said...

Aww David, she's a cutie and I'm sure the apple of your eye...how can a daddy say "no"?

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

I think the thief should go without... but the little chef should definitely be rewarded! Fancy mixing hot cross bun dough in a bowl that's bigger than you! So cute...

Pixie said...

Of course, your wife deserves hot cross buns and MORE CHOCOLATE! these sound wonderful, am starring it and hope to try them for myself over the weekend

theboydonefood said...

another cracking recipe - what a sweety, and I bet she will grow up to be an amazing cook.

David Hall said...

PEter - she is my life!

AFOS - so cruel!

Pixie - I decided she should have some and we have snaffled them all this morning!

Wil - I hope so, I need somebody to cook for me when I'm wrecked!

Helen said...

I love the idea of putting chocolate in hot cross buns! How come I didn't think of that before? Choc and orange is one of my all time favourite combinations. I love to see that your daughter is into cooking, you must get such pleasure from that.

Trig said...

Happy Easter David. Keep little chef in the kitchen and away from too much Little Chef.

Bellini Valli said...

Have a wonderful Easter David. I'm sure the Easter Bunny will bring more goodies:D If you have any leftover hot cross buns (too expensive to FedEx them to Canada)there is a hot cross bun pudding I have been seeing about in the blogosphere that sounds SO good!!!!

Magic Cochin said...

I made hot cross buns on Good Friday morning - but Cliff voted for more tradional ingredients (and I'm not an orange with chocolate fan - I know! weird!). So I used what was at hand - mixed wholemeal spelt and plain flour and added sultanas, currants and mixed spice.
BTW - in your recipe, I assume the melted butter and extra honey went in with the warm milk and egg.
We gave them an egg glaze before baking so they came out shiny brown.

Thanks for reminding me how easy HCBs are to make!!!

Happy Easter!
Celia

PS: Hope the egg-thief enjoyed her HCB

David Hall said...

Helen - not sure what gives me more pleasure; seeing Cerys loving eating and cooking or the choc orange combo in the hot cross buns!

Trig - happy on to you too sir, how is the cheffing going?

BV- I think I saw Jamie Oliver doing that hot cross pud on some advert over here - just marmalade, custard and hot cross buns baked, looks lovely mind. Happy Easter!

Aimée said...

Beautiful buns. I can almost smell them from here.
I think your wife and I would get along very well.:)

Holler said...

Oh, go on, let her have one! Chocoholics just can't help themselves and they sound so good!Happy Easter :)

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

Hiya, hope you've all had a great Easter Weekend. Will have to try making these. I've decided that when I'm up and about I'm going to have a big celebration that includes things from Christmas, New Year, Valentines and Easter, as I don't feel I got to celebrate them properly. Might just have to include your hot cross buns. Very cute little helper you have and glad to read your wife was allowed some.

David Hall said...

Aimee - I reckon you would both be scrapping over the buns myself!

Holler - She did, several at that!

Amanda - your idea sounds fab. Hope everything is great your end and that you are recovering well x

Rosie said...

Awe just look at Cerys isn't she a little angel :) Love the sound of adding chocolate to hot cross buns mmmmmm...

Rosie x