"Morel, as usual, was up early, whistling and sawing in the yard. At seven o'clock the family heard him buy threepennyworth of hot-cross buns; he talked with gusto to the little girl who brought them, calling her "my darling". He turned away several boys who came with more buns, telling them they had been "kested" by a little lass. Then Mrs. Morel got up, and the family straggled down. It was an immense luxury to everybody, this lying in bed just beyond the ordinary time on a weekday. And Paul and Arthur read before breakfast, and had the meal unwashed, sitting in their shirt-sleeves. This was another holiday luxury. The room was warm. Everything felt free of care and anxiety. There was a sense of plenty in the house."
Sons and Lovers, D. H. Lawrence, 1913, Chapter 7 (describing Good Friday).
After last year, I wanted to look at another element of the history of hot cross buns. I did start looking at the Elizabeth I decree a few weeks ago but sadly it seems I've run out of time (I blame the ebook). I have made some buns today, though, and I thought the Sons and Lovers quote was worth sharing.
The things I did differently this year:
- Switched the caster sugar for brown sugar.
- Put the dough in the fridge overnight for the first rise.
I also experimented with using a gluten free flour mix for the crosses, to see if it stopped it clumping up a bit. It wasn't a good idea - it was hard to pipe and went a bit weird in the oven.
The recipe from last year still stands - rather than writing it out with so few (and not especially big or essential) changes this year, it seems simpler to direct you back: Hot Cross Buns v.4.
Finally, Poires won the Best Use of Video award at the SAVEUR Best Food Blog Awards 2014! Thank you so much for your votes - I never thought I'd win a Readers' Choice award. They're flying me to Las Vegas for the awards party next month, which should be an excellent adventure.
To celebrate, I made a little video of the bun shaping process I use (the one I explained with words and pictures in v.3). Normally I avoid direct sunlight for photos & videos but the buns needed to be shaped so I thought I'd go outside my comfort zone a little. I'm not sure I like it but I can't really resent a sunny spring morning.
Thank you, once again, for your support - it means a lot.
The other versions: