(#25 in the limited series: cooking/baking in the time of the coronavirus quarantine)
The quarantine has been extended. Instead of looking forward to its end in a week, I am (still) trying to get used to the fact that I (we) have to bear the cabin fever until the end of the month! I am now seriously concerned that my flour and eggs won’t last that long…
But, today is Good Friday and I wanted to bake something. Initially I was thinking of baking some sort of Easter bread but (1) I couldn’t wait that long, and (2) the Easter bread recipe I had uses about half a dozen eggs… so, NO.
No, no, no.
Off to find something in my cookbook library, only to realize that it would take FOREVER for me to find a recipe apt for Good Friday… when the kid suggests to just “GOOGLE” it (and I actually cringe at her use of the word “Google” as a verb!) so I did. And of course, in a matter of seconds, millions of suggestions appeared.
(Just a short note here… for some reason, I belong to the old-ways age group who look in books first for information instead of the internet… so in case anyone was wondering why I did the more complicated thing i.e. check my books first instead of typing a few words, well, it’s I guess I’m just more comfortable with books…)
Anyway, the search results were (almost) all for Hot Cross Buns… which is rather alien in our part of the world. But it looked like something hubby would really like so I picked the recipe from one of my favorite internet sources – King Arthur Flour.
I could not be 100% faithful to the recipe, though, since I had to make do with what I had on hand… first change I always make is to halve the recipe… simply because the possibility that we won’t finish a whole batch is very real!
First things first, I did not soak my mixed dried fruits in apple juice or rum.
I did not have 1 large egg nor did I want to use half a yolk, so I used 2 medium eggs.
As for the procedure, I dump everything in the bowl of my stand mixer (because I am lazy) and let the mixer do all the kneading!
2-1/4 cups AP flour
1 teaspoon instant yeast
1/8 cup brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon apple pie spice
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
2/3 cup milk, room temperature
2 medium eggs
3 tablespoons butter, softened
80g mixed dried fruit, chopped into small bits
The first rise took about an hour. I divided the dough into 16 (small) balls (about 45 grams each) and arranged them in greased 8-inch square pan. The second rise took about 40 minutes, after which I placed the pan (covered with plastic wrap) in the fridge overnight.
And, because I am lazy, I did not want to take the extra step of making a flour paste or icing to mark the buns with crosses, so I just cut/sliced cross marks on the buns before shoving the tray into the oven.
The rolls baked the next morning, at 375*F, for about 25 minutes. (I placed the buns almost straight out of the fridge – it only sat on the counter for the 10-15 minutes it took for the oven to preheat.)
After the rolls came out of the oven, I brushed the tops with apricot glaze (apricot jam plus a little water on low heat).