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Bread :: Hot Cross BunsI made them both with my own hands
I really did.
I am kicking some cookery ass at the moment and beginning to wonder why I thought I could never cook and absolutely never bake.
I remember being told by my daughter when she was younger that the teacher had said I could buy the cakes for her class stall when all of the other mothers were baking them.
It of course had nothing to do with the flat pancake style cupcakes (that were brown not because they had chocolate in them and resembled roofing shingles) I had laboured and howled over the last cake stall her class had held.
But those days are over and suddenly I find it clear as day and do-able.
So yesterday I baked my first loaf of bread now admittedly I did use Laukes bread kit which has flour for 4 loaves nicely packaged and supplies the yeast. But I still had to knead (thats a good workout!) proove and shape the loaf.
Then feeling super adventurous I thought why not make a batch of easter buns....... as you do!
Well I nearly made Pip's which looked mega delicious but then I found myself leafing through Amy Vanderbilt's recipe book and as you know I am developing a deep connection with this woman via her complete cookery book decided to try hers the recipe looked pretty straight forward.
Her recipes are so well written. Her instructions are clear and concise and there are NO photos mocking you on how your efforts never quite replicate the glossy example provided, that you would perhaps find in a Donna Hay book. I find hers particularly daunting pretty to look through though.
With Amy I can follow black words on cream paper and not worry about the end and it just seems to work out.
She dedicates half a page to the recipe complete with ingredients no whole page dedication for this recipe superwoman.
So if you havent tried making your own bread or hot cross buns or baking with yeast just give it a go its not that difficult just prepare the ingredients first and read through the instructions BEFORE beginning.
I did the bread and hot cross buns in tandem I figured Id make the most of the floury mess that does occur so I started the bread first and while the yeast was rising started the buns it worked perfectly and I cleaned up along the way.
Here are some useful resources for baking bread:
The River Cottage Bread Handbook
River cottage basic bread recipe
Classic soda bread (no yeast required for this one)
Lauckes Flour Mills
Here are some useful resources for baking hot cross buns:
Amy Vanderbilt's Complete Cookery Book
Pip Lincolne's Hot Cross Bun tutorial (via justb)
(apologies for the quality of images I was really excited about my successful baking and had slippery floury hands using the iphone didnt want flour in the good camera!)
PS: I did some substitution on the ingredients for the hot cross buns I used dark brown sugar for the sugar, a cup of wholemeal flour for one of the all purpose cups and butter for the oil/shortening requirement.