So, you know, I gave him the run down. Told it straight, kept it simple. We talked about Jesus rising again so that we could go to Heaven. He knows all about Heaven. I think we'll leave sin for another year, and I dodged the whole cross thing. Well, I skimmed quickly over "the cross is a symbol of Jesus dying" and hoped he didn't say "what?" He didn't. I felt as though the cross had to be mentioned as I was planning on making hot cross buns. Other than that I think nails-in-to-hands is also a topic for another year (/decade). I must admit I've done more than enough talking about death with Reuben, and boy I wish Jesus wasn't the only one who could rise again.
Two years ago Reuben and I developed a wonderful habit of sitting down, always on the blue sofa, for a morning tea of hot cross buns. He LOVED them and it was a lovely tradition. I don't know how many weeks it lasted for, but I remember thinking "the supermarket won't be selling these forever, at this rate I'm going to have to start making them." I think we got through on bought ones, but last year I did have a go at making them a few times. I'm delighted that 'Bear and Lilly' requested on a recent post that I share my hot cross bun recipe, so they must have been good! I think they are, and I don't expect we'll be going to back to the supermarket for HCBs again.
In the spirit of soaking up new knowledge, and for the sake of your viewing pleasure, I decided that this time I would actually make the crosses and add a glaze. I confess I've never bothered doing this before. The glaze made them look, well, shinier, and they were a whole lot stickier. And the crosses felt right, given that this is Easter after all. It was awfully simple and now I know just one more little thing that I didn't know before - that crosses are simply made from flour and water.
|"When I'm finished this one I'll have that one"|
My crosses went fairly flat and wide, and I wonder if perhaps my paste was a little too wet. Again, if you have any thoughts on how to improve them I'd love to hear - I'm sure plenty of you know what you're talking about. I was surprised to read that the glaze goes on warm after the buns have been cooked.
A few more important things before you get started:
i. If you plan on coming round to our place over the next couple of days, make sure you get your pronunciation of Easter right, or we'll all just get confused.
ii. If you want to get a real explanation of Easter, have a read of this post by the brilliant Thalia on her site Sacraparental.
iii. Thank God for Easter. We will see Kent again.
Hot Cross Buns
1 cup warm water
1/8 cup milk
1 1/2 tablespoons butter or oil
3 1/2 cups flour
3 tablespoons sugar/glucose
1/2 cup raisins*
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons dry yeast
*If your machine has an add in beeper, add the raisins later at the time indicated.
Set your machine to dough for the mixing and first stages of rising.
When finished, remove dough and shape in to small buns, keeping them fairly close together.
Leave to rise in a warm place for 40 minutes.
Mix 1/2 cup flour with 5 tablespoons of water. Place in to a snaplock bag and trim a small corner off the bag. Pipe crosses on to buns just before they go in to the oven.
Bake at 180 degrees for 15 mins.
Warm 1/3 cup water on the stove with 2 tablespoons of sugar. Stir constantly while bringing to the boil, and simmer for 5 minutes. Brush on to the buns while the glaze and buns are still warm.
If you wish to make these by hand, mix the ingredients together with a knife, and finish with your hands. Put on to a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes. Place in to an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and leave in a warm place for 1 - 1 1/2 hours until dough has doubled in size. Punch dough down to original size and knead until smooth. Shape in to buns and follow the instructions above. These tips come thanks to taste.com.au
PS - since writing I have made these again and found that a thicker paste makes the crosses really messy. The paste sort of blobs out of the hole instead of running. Do the full 5 tablespoons of water and let me know if you have any other ideas.