Hot Cross Buns are a traditional Good Friday treat in Great Britain and by extension, in Australia. They are not a thing in France. Sometimes we get them shipped in when English friends arrive for Easter, but this year I decided to make my own.
I used this recipe by Paul Hollywood.
They take ages, because you have to prove them for an hour at three different stages. The dough is soft and wet, so not easy to handle. You have to be deft, gentle and quick.
I tweaked the recipe a bit, to reflect what I had in the pantry.
I didn't have any full cream milk and I only had 60% fat content butter. I couldn't see the point of bringing the milk to the boil then having to wait for it to cool to 40°C. Instead I heated it enough to melt the butter. Even so it took 40 minutes to cool down sufficiently.
I didn't have fast action yeast (never use it), so I needed to wait for the milk to cool so I could add some to the yeast and set it aside for 15 minutes to activate.
I mixed and kneaded the dough in my bench top mixer rather than do it by hand. Machine mixing and kneading gives a better result in my experience. The flour was from a producer in Berry, the next province to us, who grows and mills the wheat. It's available in the Intermarché supermarket in Yzeures sur Creuse in 5kg bags. I like it a lot, it makes a very elastic dough.
I used my homemade candied orange peel. Instead of cinnamon I thought mixed spice was a more typical hot cross bun spice.
Finally, they acquired their pink gloss because I didn't have any apricot jam. I had grape jelly though, and when you think about it, the symbolism of the colour is perfectly appropriate. The grape jelly makes a rather sticky glaze, but it dries out overnight, so when you toast the buns the next morning it's fine.
These were so good I made a second batch two days later. The process was a lot more streamlined because I knew how it went. I gave some to our mechanic and traded some for potatoes. We ate some and I put some in the freezer.