3 Jersey gals with a love for all things fashion, music, photography, baking, vintage, kitch, crafts, love and laughter.

24 April 2011

Hazy days, April days and baking days.

Its been a while since my last post , i feel as if I've lost touch with the world what with all this April sunshine going through my system on a daily basis.
Its Easter Sunday Bloggers and you know what that means ....I CAN EAT CHOCOLATE . oh Yes . I'm starting to feel a bit sick of it now as I've had rather a lot today. Oh well im making up for lost time i suppose.
I went to the hospice barn on Wednesday , picked up a few lovelies there ,will blog about that as soon as i can get the photos up . I can't believe how quickly the Easter holidays have gone and hasn't it been a lovely one ? The days have just melted away in a haze of sunbathing ,swimming (oh yes), listening to music ,blogging ,some rather gorgy days out, along with a few evening barbeque's and baking and eating and maybe some more baking . Because i really have been quite a busy baker this Easter weekend , and because I'm nice i thought i might share it with you :

Okay so i started of on Friday with Hot cross Buns , what else? (it was good Friday after all ). I've never made these before and was apprehensive but exited ,they really are Delicious . Don't let the whole seasonal thing stop you they are divine any day of the week.

Great British Hot Cross Buns

For the buns
450g strong white bread flour (The recipe called for 350g of white and 100g of strong wholemeal bread flour but it worked out great with just white).
50g caster sugar
1 tsp sea salt
2 tsp ground mixed spice
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 x sachet 7g instant yeast
50g unsalted butter
150g mixed fruit and peel (I only used mixed fruit as I can't find mixed peel here).
2 eggs
200ml warm milk
For the cross
4 tbsp plain flour
2 tbsp water
For the glaze
2 tbsp caster sugar
4 tbsp milk
Put the flour, sugar, salt, spices and yeast into a large bowl and mix well. Add the diced butter and using your fingertips rub it in until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the dried fruit. Make a well in the centre, pour in the lukewarm milk and the beaten eggs and gradually draw the flour into the liquid to make a very soft dough. Turn the dough on to a lightly floured surface and knead thoroughly for 10 minutes by hand or 4 minutes with a mixer on the lowest possible speed until silky smooth and very elastic.
I found that my dough was very sticky at the beginning and almost unworkable so I added a bit more flour. It didn't need much though and definitely be careful not to alter the ratio of ingredients too much. The dough shouldn't be sticking to your fingers, but you don't want a tough, dry hard dough.
Return the dough to the cleaned bowl, cover with a damp tea towel or put in a plastic bag and leave until doubled in size - about 1 hour.
Punch down the risen dough to deflate and turn out onto your work surface. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces and shape them into neat balls. Set them well apart on a greased baking tray and slip it into a large plastic bag, slightly inflated so the buns don't come into contact with the plastic. Leave to rise until doubled in size again - about 45 minutes to an hour( you don't have to leave it for the full time if they look a good size after 15 mins put them in the oven). Towards the end of the rising time, heat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6.
For the cross
Mix the flour with enough cold water to make a smooth thick paste that can be piped. I found that I needed a bit more water than the recipe states to get something loose enough to pipe. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with the smallest nozzle or use a plastic bag and snip off the corner. Uncover the buns and pipe a cross on to each one. Bake in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes, until golden brown.
For the sticky glaze
Towards the end of the baking time, heat the milk with the sugar until dissolved. Boil for 1 minute, then brush over the buns as soon as they emerge from the oven. Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool.
And finally, enjoy with a cup of tea and lashings of butter.

My Hot Cross Buns ,they didn't last long.

But oh No i wasn't finished yet i still had another baking task to complete . I'dbeen asked to make a dessert for a family Easter barbeque and as i could eat chocolate on Easter Sunday I'd go with a chocolate themed dessert -White Chocolate and Vanilla Mouses served with shortbread hearts.
presentation wise i was very proud of my efforts . defiantly a recipe to try again. It was easy and looked good (for a change ):

Aren't they cute !
So that completes my Bakingtastic weekend -just a little tierd now .
I can finally settle down to a nice cup of tea . But before i do i have to blog about this song .Its from the matalan advert and afyer telling Rosie we both are in love with the band , that's ginghamandroses for you... Enjoy !

Have a good bank Holiday
Izzy Xx
P.S The recipe for hot cross buns came of a very good blog i only just discovered . She hasn't got any followers yet, i don't know why she has some lovely recipes please follow her !http://www.ateapartyinholland.blogspot.com/
Our giveaway ends TOMMOROW , you'd better enter quick this could be your last chance to win a MAC Lipstick of your choice.

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