Saturday, 7 April 2012

52 Recipe Challenge – Week 39.

Easter Baking!

This week I decided to take part in my work’s Easter bake off.  The Easter bake off, inspired by the Great British Bake Off was announced by email last week and so I got thinking about what to bake.  Initially when I think of baking around Easter I think of chocolate crispy cake nests with mini eggs in them and I thought that’s a bit too simple to make for a bake off. So I looked on the internet and the blogs I follow were full of baked Easter treats!  There were mini egg cookies, mini simnel cakes , crème egg cupcakes and hot cross buns.... I wanted to make them all!

In the end I bought the ingredients for them all but once I had finally escaped the big ASDA and got my kitchen in a fit state to bake in I didn’t have a lot of time to bake so I tried to make two recipes.
The ones recipes I tried this week were the Creme Egg Surprise recipe from the Domestic Sluttery blog and Hot Cross Buns from Yasmin Limbert’s blog.  I didn’t take many pictures in the end as I got into a bit of a flap... so I’ll just tell you about the hot cross buns as I managed to get a few pictures of them!

The original recipe can be found here or by using the links above, I would advise you follow that rather than my misadventure!

To make the buns you will need:
500g Bread Flour                                              
15g Yeast                                                          
60g Butter                                                        
40g Sugar                                                          
10g Salt                                                              
1tsp Cinnamon                                                     
1/2tsp Nutmeg                                                    
1/2tsp Cardamom                                                
100g Raisins                   
250ml Warm Milk
2 Eggs

For the crosses you will need:
2 tbsp Plain Flour
1 tbsp Sugar
For the glaze you will need:
1 tbsp Sugar
1 tbsp Water

To start off with I measured my flour, raisins, salt, sugar and spices and put them into my food processor with the dough hook attachment in place. 

 After that, I cracked my eggs into mix, warmed some milk and put that in too before turning on the food processor to knead the dough together.  Once I thought the mixture was combined into a dough I tipped it into a floured mixing bowl and beat it until I decided that I had finished kneading it and put the bowl in a warm place and covered it with a plastic bag whilst I worked on my crème egg cupcakes.

When an hour had passed, I looked at the dough and decided that it looked like it had risen and tried to form it into 12 buns before placing them on to a lined baking tray, placing them in a warm place again and covering them for another hour.  

The next time I checked on the buns I was puzzled, they hadn’t risen or changed at all... how could this be? Then it slowly dawned on me, I had forgotten to add the yeast! Of all the ingredients to forget!

So I got the buns put them back into the mixing bowl and kneaded them together then added the yeast whilst kneading and then covered the bowl and left it over night. The morning after, I got up and kneaded the dough again before forming it into buns, covering them and leaving them on the top of the oven to rise, as I got ready for work.

About half an hour later, after I had a shower I uncovered the buns and this time they had risen!  Once this was established I looked for my piping equipment to pipe crosses onto the hot cross buns but it was to no avail.  I hunted around my kitchen but I couldn’t find the attachment which connected the nozzle to my piping equipment.  In the end time got the better of me so I called off the search and got on with the baking.  I cracked an egg into a cup, quickly beat it then brushed it over the buns.

Next I mixed up some plain flour, sugar and a tiny bit of water to make the crosses and then used the spoon I mixed it with to apply the crosses to the buns.  It didn’t look massively professional... in fact the crosses reminded me of the use your vote advertising! Still there’s a lot to be said for rustic baking I decided as I finished applying crosses to my buns and put them in the oven at 220c.

I put three buns in a little tray first they took about 10 minutes to cook so I turned temperature down a little for my seconds larger batch to ensure I didn’t burn them they took about 15 minutes to cook.
After taking the buns out to the oven, I put some sugar in a cup and stirred in a dash of boiling water to make a glaze then brushed this over the top of all the buns. 

  Once this was done I made a quick cuppa and drank about half whilst getting ready for work, popping to the shop for icing sugar... finishing icing the cupcakes and fishing the cake/ roses tins from the top of my cupboards.

Somehow I managed to choose some to take to work, get the bus and enter both the hot cross buns and the crème egg cupcakes into the bake off.  Unsurprisingly neither entry won but they were against stiff competition such as bunny cakes, gluten free brownies and zombie cupcakes. They still managed to raise a bit for charity though, which was the main reason for the competition.

I adapted Yasmin’s original recipe slightly because she used orange extract and cinnamon cranberries; so I substituted raisins for cranberries.  As I didn’t have orange extract I left that out too.

I think I’ll make this again as I enjoy the taste of these but I’m not sure my boyfriend enjoys them as much but that just means there’s more for me!

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