I actually wrote this post over a week ago, but my, oh my, have I been busy. Sorry ’bout that, but narrative theory is, like, intense sometimes, and I’m kinda a slow reader. As an apology, here’s a picture of a vintage duck-shaped measuring cup I bought recently. There’s supposed to be a whole set nestling together, but the op shop only had the 1 cup. Also pictured: some terrariums I made and a tile my friend, Sally, gave me aaaaages ago.
Anyway. First thing’s first: whenever I say buns in this post I want you to imagine me wiggling my eyebrows suggestively at you. OK, cool. Here we go.
Buns. Fresh buns.
No, but seriously, how good are they? Like, ten, right?
I’ve never made hot cross buns before. In fact, every year I find myself thinking that hot cross buns really aren’t worth buying, because when I was a student (last time) they seemed pretty expensive for what they are and quite frankly not that exciting. And again, like the fruit cake thing, I was turned off by the poorly executed citrus rind in so many commercial buns. But look, now I’m adult enough to have to pay for a parking permit to park on the street in front of the house I live in, so maybe I’m old enough to enjoy buns.
And I do, I totally do. This year I even found myself buying buns and they were good. 10 points to Hufflebuns! But, you know, I still thought I could do better.
So here we are: cranberries, mandarin, cardamon pods. Slightly hungover from the first proper sprawling house party I’ve been to in years. Slightly hungover from a night of primarily tequila-based drinks for the very first time and trying to figure out how to get the glaze on my buns without a pastry brush. Maybe I have time to shower and go buy one right now while the buggers are still rising.
Buns. Adulthood. New recipes and new hangovers. Time might be ticking away too quickly to settle for sub-par buns. But also: you’re never too old to get drunk on something new. You’re never too old or too young to appreciate a pair of hot little buns like these.
2 cups water
1/2 cup sunflower oil
1/2 cup caster sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
4 cups plain flour
1/2 cup SR flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp allspice
1 cup dried cranberries
Boil water, and combine with sunflower oil and sugar. Allow to sit for a few minutes to cool off. While still warm, but not scadling to the touch, add yeast and plain flour. Stir and allow to sit for one hour. When the hour is up and the dough has risen, add SR flour, salt, spices and cranberries. Knead until dough is elastic, and spices and cranberries are well distributed. Break off golf-ball sized pieces and roll into, well, a ball. Arrange on oiled tray. Leave to sit, covered with clean teatowel, in a warm place for an hour.
1/2 cup of plain flour
4 1/2 tbsp of water
Combine flour and water to form thick paste. Spoon into ziplock bag/piping bag and use to draw crosses on your buns.
1/3 cup mandarin juice (about 1 mandarin worth)
3 tbsp water
12 cardamon pods
In small saucepan bring water, juice and cardamon to simmer for fifteen minutes. When cool and buns are ready for oven, brush over buns.
Cooks buns in medium over for 20-30 minutes, brushing occasionally with any leftover glaze.
Makes about 28.