Day 99

Happy Easter! Today we had friends over for a late lunch that extended for most of the afternoon. Anakin and Sharon brought sweet potatoes au gratin and a cake shaped like a lamb. Laura brought a loaf of homemade bread, as did Mike and Violet. Zoe contributed berries. I baked a small ham with a Dijon mustard and brown sugar glaze. Collaboratively Rachel and I made hot cross buns (featured in today’s photos). There was also homemade hummus, a cheese plate, pineapple, and lots of chocolate. After our feast we all played telephone pictionary, which is the greatest game ever. All in all this was a very good day.

Hot cross buns, pre-baking

Hot Cross Buns (from Easy Living magazine)

  • 7 g sachet fast-acting dried yeast
  • 450 g white bread flour
  • 50 g wholemeal bread flour
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar (or 50/50 white sugar powdered sugar)
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • dash of mace, cloves, and all spice
  • 50 g unsalted butter, diced
  • 150 g raisins
  • 3 tbs chopped dried apricots
  • 250 mL tepid milk
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2 tbsp plain flour

For the glaze

  • 4 tbsp milk
  • 3 tbsp caster sugar (2 tbsp powdered, 1 tbsp white sugar)

1. Place the yeast, flours, sugar, salt, and spices into a bowl, add the butter and rub it in. Stir through the dried fruit. Add the milk and egg and mix well. Add a little extra water if the dough is too dry or extra flour if it’s very sticky. Knead on a lightly floured surface for about 1o minutes. Place in an oiled bowl, cover with cling film and leave in a warm place for 1-1 1/2 hours, or until the dough has doubled in size. (TIP: the dough for hot cross buns can be made the night before and given its first rise in the fridge. In the morning, remove from fridge, punch down the dough, make the buns and let it have its second rise in a warm spot in the kitchen).

2. Punch down the dough with your fist to expel the air, then knead on a lightly floured surface for 2-3 minutes. Divide into equal portions and shape each into a ball. Spray baking tray(s) with non-stick spray, then place the balls of dough on it, spacing well apart (2 to 3 inches). Cover with damp paper towel and leave for another 45-60 minutes, or until the dough has doubled in size.

3. Heat oven to 390 degrees Fahrenheit. For the cross, mix the plain flour to a smooth paste with 1-2tbsp of cold water. Spoon it into a piping bag and pipe a cross on each cun. Bake for 10-20 minutes (depending on size) or until golden brown. Heat the milk and sugar until dissolved and then boil for 1 minute. Transfer the buns to a cooling rack and brush with the milk glaze.

Other pictures:

Anakin with lamb cake

Almost everybody who came to lunch today

Mike and Violet playing telephone pictionary

More Pictionary

Even more pictionary

Cut lamb cake... it looks so accusing