Thursday, April 17, 2014

Bun Fest - eating hot cross buns from breakfast through to dessert

If I had the luxury of one of those deep, stash-a-body sized freezers I would hoard copious amounts of hot cross buns so I could eat them all year round, in the sorts of quantities that would have you think I was inviting friends over for a bit of hot bun and tea, not just enjoying them for myself.  Sure it may tarnish the novelty but it would never take away the epic spicy, yeasty sultana studded goodness that is a hot cross bun. Not one to be limited to a bit of bun and butter I thought I’d share some of the ways I’ve come to enjoy the humble hot cross. Get amongst it people – hot cross buns in their various forms and incarnations from breakfast through to dessert.  

Hot cross breakfast crunch
1 hot cross bun, lightly toasted
¼ cup oats
¼ cup puffed brown rice
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tbsp coconut sugar

Preheat oven to 150C.
Blitz the hot cross bun in a blender until coarsely crumbed. Add to a bowl with the remaining ingredients and toss to coat. Spread out on a baking tray lined with baking paper and bake until golden and toasted. Allow to cool before adding to a sealed jar to keep. Serve with fruit, yoghurt and a bit of honey. Or just eat it like you would cereal. It keeps for about a week.

Hot cross lunch
Makes 1

1 traditional hot cross bun, lightly toasted
1 tablespoon good quality goats curd
1 tbsp honey
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
½ tsp cinnamon
A small handful of red grapes
A few sprigs of fresh herbs (whatever you can find)

Smear the goats curd onto the warm hot cross bun. Combine the honey, vinegar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Top the goats curd with grapes, drizzle over honey vinegar mixture, scatter with herbs and eat.

3 cheese savoury hot cross buns
(adapted from BBC Good Food)
Makes 6

These are crazy delicious, bonkers awesome served warm out of the oven with bacon jam. I didn’t say that. NO I DID, I DID. No I didn’t…

300g strong bread flour
10g dried yeast
1 teaspoon salt
250ml warm milk
50g smoked cheddar, grated
50g parmesan, grated
50g pecorino or strong bitey flavoured hard cheese, grated
(plus extra of all cheeses for sprinkling)

Parmesan Cross Mixture
2 1/2 tbsp of freshly grated parmesan cheese
2 1/2 tbsp of plain flour
2 1/2 tbsp of water

Combine the flour, yeast and salt in a bowl. Add the warm milk and gently incorporate to make a sticky dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes or until elasticated and soft. Cover and place in a warm spot to rise for at least 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
Remove from bowl and knead through the cheeses then divide the dough into six balls. Lightly oil a large baking tray and place the balls on it to prove and double in size again. About an hour.
Preheat oven to 180C.  Slash the cross in each bun using a small sharp knife. Make the cross topping by combining the ingredients to form a paste. You can add to a piping bag or for a more rustic option just use a teaspoon and put the mixture into the cross. Sprinkle over the cheese and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden.
Hot cross crumble
Makes 4 medium –large serves of crumble

2 apples, peeled, cored, roughly chopped
2 pears, peeled, cored, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons sultanas
1 teaspoon cinnamon
80g brown sugar or to taste

1 hot cross bun, lightly toasted, blitzed to a rough crumb
100g plain flour
90g chilled butter, cubed
50g coarse sugar

Preheat oven to 200C.
Combine flour and butter in a large bowl and rub with your fingertips until fine crumbs form. Add sugar and hot cross bun crumbs, mix to combine and set aside.
Add filling ingredients to a bowl, toss to combine and add ½ cup water.
Spoon into a 1 litre-capacity baking dish, top with hot cross bun crumble and bake until golden brown (35-40 minutes). Serve immediately with double cream or ice-cream. Please note your cooking time can really vary depending on the sweetness of the fruit, its best to keep an eye on it’s progress or if you are unsure you can cook the filling ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat then turn into a baking dish and putting in the oven just to cook and warm the crumble topping.

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