Happy Easter – Hot Cross Buns Recipe

I’m really into cooking at the moment. I don’t know what it is but I’m taking some more time to enjoy it. Given it’s Easter, I thought it was a prime opportunity to cook some Hot Cross Buns. I even put the crosses on them for effect, but unfortunately the only thing I’m religious about is eating them hot with Lurpak butter!

My friend SarahKate over at abercrombieandfeast.com would be proud.

After all that, I forgot to include the recipe. I got it here and it worked a treat. I’ve never cooked bread from scratch before so I was very happy with how they turned out, all the way down to the sticky glaze :)

Hot Cross Buns Recipe

from Taste.com.au
time 2 hours
yield 12

ingredients

4 cups plain flour
2 x 7g sachets yeast
1/4 cup caster sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups currants
40g butter
300ml milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup plain flour
4 to 5 tablespoons water
1/3 Cup water
2 tablespoons caster sugar

directions

  1. Combine flour, yeast, sugar, mixed spice, salt and currants in a large bowl.
  2. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add milk. Heat for 1 minute, or until lukewarm. Add warm milk mixture and eggs to currant mixture.
  3. Use a flat-bladed knife to mix until dough almost comes together. Use clean hands to finish mixing to form a soft dough.
  4. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead for 10 minutes, or until dough is smooth. Place into a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until dough doubles in size.
  5. Line a large baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Punch dough down to its original size. Knead on a lightly floured surface until smooth.
  6. Divide into 12 even portions. Shape each portion into a ball. Place balls onto lined tray, about 1cm apart. Cover with plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 30 minutes, or until buns double in size.
  7. Preheat oven to 190°C.
  8. Make flour paste: Mix flour and water together in a small bowl until smooth, adding a little more water if paste is too thick. Spoon into a small snap-lock bag. Snip off 1 corner of bag. Pipe flour paste over tops of buns to form crosses. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until buns are cooked through.
  9. Make glaze: Place water and sugar into a small saucepan over low heat. Stir until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil. Boil for 5 minutes. Brush warm glaze over warm hot cross buns. Serve warm or at room temperature.

notes: • These buns are best eaten on the day they are made. Otherwise, freeze for up to 7 days. To defrost in microwave, place 1 hot cross bun onto a sheet of paper towel. Heat, uncovered, for 45 to 50 seconds on MEDIUM-LOW (DEFROST) (30%) power. Stand for 1 minute.

One other tip that I discovered when I made the Hot Cross Buns, particularly if it’s a little cooler in your house, is to put the oven on when you begin and set it to it’s lowest setting. You can then use the warmth of the oven to let it rise when proofing. Worked a treat!


Manly Phoenix

I know that the regular readers of scrambledminds.com have been wondering when the next Yum Cha Challenge was going to convene. You’re right, it has been some time since the last one. We’ve had babies, we’ve had weddings, we’ve had honeymoons, we’ve had christmas, we’ve had new years, we’ve had milestone birthdays. I think you get the idea.

So, it was with great gusto that the club responded to the call of Che to try out Manly Phoenix as the next Yum Cha Challenge venue. And what a venue it was. The score clearly shows that this was the most appreciated venue to date. You can see from the picture that this was definitely the case. Luckily there was a view to take the focus off bagging Che out for not making it to the challenge the she organised!


Needless to say, we dug into the food without Che. A pity really as Yum Cha is the best hangover food. Nothing better than tripe, chicken feet and a whole world of indescribable treats being pushed around by pushier trolley ladies. To make up for Che’s absence we alsohad a few newbies (Jay and Hayley).

Lights of Symmetry
To sum it all up, there was a lot of raving about the venue. A lot of lobbying by a couple of unnamed individuals (Neil and Julie). However it was adisappointingscore overall. Strange really because I think that the food and location were great!

picture-11
The Good

  • Stunning venue
  • The large crowd
  • Pretty high standard of Mango Pancakes
  • Ruby

The Bad

  • Che
  • Lack of Lazy Susan!
  • Poor overall performance

The Ugly

  • Julie trying to hold back from ordering while as everyone was a little late. Not a pretty sight.

Funniest Face?


Zilver


Inspiring vision.

Engaging leadership.

Neither of these two things have happened recently with the Yum Cha Challenge.

Dissent in the ranks.

Drink SpriteThat’s what you get if you don’t keep your team focused.

To stop a coup within the ranks of the Yum Cha Challenge it was necessary to get back out and into the fray that is a weekend Yum Cha Challenge. For better or worse, Zilver was the lucky venue this time around. This place was great, even if we did have to wait for it. You know what they say – Good things come to those who wait. I don’t know who said that but we waited and good things came so they definitely were right! Zilver has has taken the lead in the Yum Cha Challenge with a score of 4.2. For the benefit of all you avid readers of the Yum Cha Challenge (you both know who you are), let me recap the sores to date:

  • Marigold Citymark in July 06 – 3.3
  • The Regal in July 06 – 3.7
  • Kam Fook in Jan 07 – 3.2
  • Golden Jade Seafood Restaurant in March 07 – 3.6
  • Palace Restaurant in May 07 – 4.1
  • East Ocean Restaurant in May 07 – 3.9

200809061223.jpg
The Good

  • The great food, including variety. This place is the first one to get a perfect score for Quality.
  • The Mango pancakes were the best going around!
  • Getting to see a Chinese Dragon dance (I think that’s what it’s called). This was for Chinese New Year apparently.

The Bad

  • The wait – a good 45 minutes to an hour. We managed to head off for some refreshments and came back. Maybe the Chinese New Year thing would explain the wait for a table!
  • The unhappy staff

The Ugly

  • The quotes (see below)
  • Jason cleaning Neil’s blackberry nippleYum Cha'd Girls

Quotes

“The steam stuff is all exceptional quality” – Michelle after gobbling some steamed dumplings.

Vote 1 Ernest!“I got a look at Ernest Chan and he’s quite a good looking man” – Che after seeing Enest and wishing she was his numero uno.

“My ball is clean” – Neil after realising he just likes saying ball and clean in the same sentence.

“The only reason I’m sticking with 4 on variety is that it took us to the end of the meal to get BBQ pork buns” – Che voicing her discontent with the time taken to getting pork buns and subsequently marking Zilver down in the wrong category (personally I think it should have been a frequency mark down).

“A lot more ‘high end’ items which we appreciated, like duck pancakes and soft shell crab. Very impressive” – Jody getting excited over the snazzy plates, most of which we didn’t order.


Prawn and Chorizo Paella – The Ducks Nuts!

Jodes and I made a great Prawn and Chorizo Paella (Pa-aya) from The Good Weekend (The Sydney Morning Herald weekend magazine) a few months ago. It tasted so good that I thought that I would throw the recipe away! So after buying the prawn and chorizo and realising that the recipe was not to be found, my obsessive compulsive stupidity was rescued by the wonders of the Interweb. I found this stonking recipe and we relived the dream. We just followed the directions, put twice as many prawns in and skipped the Scallops. What more could you want?

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