Ok, I don’t actually call her Mamma, just Mum x But Mamma sounds so much better, don’t you think? heehee x
When I first started baking this time last year my Mum wrote down here recipe for Fruit loaf and it’s been pinned to my notice board ever since waiting patiently for me to get round to trying it out!! I’m not sure it is quite up to her standards yet, but I think I’ve done not bad for a first attempt and will play around and perfect it to my own tastes in the years to come x
½llb Unsalted butter
1 cup caster sugar
2 cups Sultanas
1 cup water
1 teaspoon Bicarbonate of soda
2 cups self raising flour
Line a loaf tin with backing parchment.
In a medium heavy pan add the butter, sugar, sultanas, water and bicarbonate of soda on a medium heat until the sugar has dissolved and the butter has melted, then turn up the temperature to full and bring to the boil, then continue boiling for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool for a couple of hours.
Beat the eggs and them to the mixture, add the flour and mix well.
Transfer mixture to the loaf tin and place in the oven at 170°C for 1½ hours.
I like mine with lashings of butter and a pot of tea x
I thought it would be appropriate today to mark the beginning of the Easter weekend with a festive recipe!! I came across Paul Holywood’s recipe for hot cross buns last week and then watched him prepare them with the same recipe on the Easter special of The Great British Bake-off Masterclass this week, which only cemented my determination to try them out for myself x
This is my first attempt at hot cross buns and I have to say I don’t think I will be buying them from now on!! They are gorgeous!!! Super tasty and they leave the house smelling amazing!!
For the buns:
300ml full-fat milk , plus 2 tbsp more
500g strong bread flour
1 tsp salt
75g caster sugar
1 tbsp sunflower oil
7g sachet fast-action or easy-blend yeast
1 egg, beaten
50g mixed peel
zest 1 orange
1 apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped
1 tsp ground cinnamon
For the cross:
75g plain flour , plus extra for dusting
For the glaze:
3 tbsp apricot jam
Bring the milk to the boil, then remove from the heat and add the butter. Leave to cool until it reaches hand temperature. Put the flour, salt, sugar and yeast into a bowl. Make a well in the centre. Pour in the warm milk and butter mixture, then add the egg. Using a wooden spoon, mix well, then bring everything together with your hands until you have a sticky dough.
Tip on to a lightly floured surface and knead by holding the dough with one hand and stretching it with the heal of the other hand, then folding it back on itself. Repeat for 5 mins until smooth and elastic. Put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with oiled cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hr or until doubled in size and a finger pressed into it leaves a dent.
With the dough still in the bowl, tip in the sultanas, mixed peel, orange zest, apple and cinnamon. Knead into the dough, making sure everything is well distributed. Leave to rise for 1 hr more, or until doubled in size, again covered by some well-oiled cling film to stop the dough getting a crust.
Divide the dough into 15 even pieces (about 75g per piece). Roll each piece into a smooth ball on a lightly floured work surface. Arrange the buns on one or two baking trays lined with parchment, leaving enough space for the dough to expand. Cover (but don’t wrap) with more oiled cling film, or a clean tea towel, then set aside to prove for 1 hr more.
Heat oven to 220ºC/200ºC fan/gas 7. Mix the flour with about 5 tbsp water to make the paste for the cross – add the water 1 tbsp at a time, so you add just enough for a thick paste. Spoon into a piping bag with a small nozzle. Pipe a line along each row of buns, then repeat in the other direction to create crosses. Bake for 20 mins on the middle shelf of the oven, until golden brown.
Gently heat the apricot jam to melt, then sieve to get rid of any chunks. While the jam is still warm, brush over the top of the warm buns and leave to cool.
I enjoyed mine straight from the oven with just a little butter along with a nice cup of tea, simple but effective x
For me it wouldn’t be Easter without hot cross buns, but I realise that many of you are from other parts of the world with possibly very different Easter traditions and foods that you eat and share to celebrate! I’d love to hear about it x
What will you be making this weekend to celebrate Easter?
I’m off to hard boil and decorate some eggs now to roll on Sunday, ta ta xx