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Hot X: Algebra Exposed

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Stand it at room temperature for 45 minutes to an hour, stirring every 15 minutes or so, to make a “flying sponge”.

To shape the hot cross buns cover the pieces of dough with a kitchen towel to prevent them drying out. If your yeast is past its expiry date OR you’ve kept it in hot humid conditions (instead of fridge or freezer), your dough will not rise. Once it has reached a rough dough, tip it onto a lightly floured work surface and start to develop the dough by kneading it until silky.This is the easiest way to make Hot Cross Buns, and I’ve provided it as an extra recipe at the very bottom of this post.

Witness the magic of distilling with a visit to Wild Atlantic Distillery located in the north-west of Ireland. Fill the bun with sliced avocado, griddled halloumi, an oozy fried egg, coriander leaves and a little sriracha for a spicy kick. If you want to keep the buns lovely and fresh for longer, soak the dried fruit in fruit juice for a couple of hours beforehand. Don’t skip cooling the buns – I know, I know, you want to rip into these buns when they’re fresh out of the oven. Swap the raisins and dried cranberries for your favourite dried fruit, if you prefer – when I fancy a change, I love chopped dried apricots or sour cherries.For the day after, reheating makes all the difference to make them soft and moist again – 15 sec in the microwave!

Despite making Marguerite Patten's Hot Cross Buns recipe for the past 30 years I decided to try Nigella's this year. Heat the milk, butter, orange zest, clove and cardamom pods in a saucepan until the butter melts, then leave to infuse. There’s even a school playground rhyme about Hot Cross Buns, sung while clapping in time to the rhythm of the words. Leave dough in the bowl, cover with a wet (clean) tea towel and place in a warm place to rise for around 1 1/2 – 2 hours. When ready, an adult should carefully remove your Dutch Oven from the heat, remembering to wear the heatproof gloves.Packed full of juicy fruit, our Plant Kitchen vegan hot cross buns feature a unique spice blend and an irresistible texture. 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. Arrange the buns on one or two baking trays lined with parchment, leaving enough space for the dough to expand. Using this recipe, you would think I’ve made them a few times before because the results were amazing!

Caution is needed when in contact with items that have been heated and young people should use them under adult supervision. If you are using the packets, you can just use 2 x 7 g sachets, that is 4 1/2 tsp which is slightly more than 1 tablespoon but it works just fine.As this is an enriched dough, and is quite sticky and tricky to handle, I would suggest using a stand mixer to knead the dough. Keep kneading until you have silky, elastic dough, but bear in mind that the dried fruit will stop this from being exactly satin smooth. By effort, I don't mean you need to be hugely active or expert to make these; you just need the patience to sit around while they rise and the faith to believe they will. Put 500g strong bread flour, 1 tsp salt, 75g caster sugar and 7g sachet fast-action or easy-blend yeast into a bowl.

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