Friday, February 4, 2011

Hot Cross Buns

They are hot and they are cross


When I was little, my Mum used to get these amazing hot cross buns from a bakery in the Braeside area of Calgary. I've mentioned this bakery before and the more I ravenously lust  think about it, this was an epic bakery. Now these hot cross buns were filled with dried fruits, rich in spice with a fluffy, airy texture. The crosses were made out of pastry as apposed to that nasty spray cheese icing stuff ( I have no idea what it is so all I can do is describe it.) you find on the grocery brand ones. My favorite thing to do was to to slather the insides with butter and then throw them in an over till everything was melted and toasty. I could comfortably eat a dozen in one sitting. Amazing.

But, as with many things, the bakery closed down in the early 90's and I was left with nothing. Since then, I've been searching for a the perfect Hot Cross Bun. I'm sad to say (and partly this might have to do with the science of memory- seriously... the is a reason why nothing ever tastes as good as it did when you were younger) that nothing comes close to those buns I had over 20 years ago.

So, as of today... I find myself with a bunch of baking yeast that will be going bad in June. I have about 6 recipes worth so I need to get started using it up. I usually bake bread, especially if I am going out to my families cabin (why buy when you can make?) but I want to make fun things, exciting things, things like an epic batch of Hot Cross Buns.

I started doing research on recipes about a month ago but kind of like Fruit Cake, there are such a variety of of methods and ingredients that I can't seem to find a solid foundation to start at. I want traditional, I want light and fluffy, I want spiced and flavourful. I want quality. I realise that Hot Cross Buns are old fashion and traditional- apparently pies are the "it" food for 2011 (Mmmm pie). I don't even know if anyone other than me and my Dad still like them. So, this is where I ask you, my lovely loyal readers, for help. Is there anything that you might have that you can share with me? A recipe that was passed down through your family, a suggestion of a site that never fails to give you the best methods for cooking. Anything, any place where I can start... I just need a tip, I can do the rest and take the pictures to prove it.

So with that being said, this is the beginning of my Hot Cross journey as well as a baking adventure. With all that baking yeast I have sitting in my baking cupboard I plan to make a lot. Other things on my list include pain au chocolate, hearty bird seed bread (that's what I call whole grain break with nuts and seeds in it), pizza dough (hey, who doesn't love a good pizza crust- you can freeze it before the second rise for future home made dinners), and perhaps some gooey cinnamon bread.

Mmmmmm...


picture borrowed from Monnonite Girls Can Cook

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