I am Japanese, we dont celebrate Easter in Japan. I experienced the first Easter in Whakatane, NZ. I was helping a bakery there at the time. I made Easter cookies, chocolates and Hot cross buns!!!
I still remember how we were busy at the bakery. We made lots, lots, lots of sweets. It was interesting for me, to make rabbit, egg shaped cookies with decoration.
And I like Hot cross Buns. Spiced, rich taste with dried fruits.
I used cinnamon, all spice, nutmeg, ginger and extra spice, Cocoa powder to make it dark color and extra aroma. You can smell when it is in the oven!!
Egg, Milk, Butter and Sugar make it rich.
Rebake them, put butter on, then eat in the Easter morning!!
Hot Cross Buns(makes 12)
70g High grade flour
Pinch of active dried Yeast
1/2 tea S. ground Allspice
1 tea S. ground Cinnamon
1/2 tea S. ground Nutmeg
1/2 tea S. ground Ginger
60g Unsalted Butter (melted)
1 whole Egg + lukewarm Milk = 200g
100g dried Raisins
60g dried Orange peel (chopped)
Cross lines pastry
100 g pastry flour
100 g water
50g Icing sugar
1.The day before, in a small bowl, mix all the sour dough starter ingredients until just combined. Cover the bowl and let the polish ferment at room temperature for about 6 hours or more. The polish is ready to use when the surface is creased, and pebbled with bubbles. Keep it in the fridge till use.
2. In a large bowl, mix final dough flour and spices, sugar. Add sourdough starter,butter, and mixture of milk and egg. Mix with your finger combine the ingredients till water and flour combined well.
3. Place the dough onto the floured counter, then knead it for 15 minutes till it becomes smooth and elastic.
4. Spread the dough, put raisins and orange peel on it, knead it briefly till dried fruits are just evenly incorporated into the dough.
5. Put the dough into a container with cover, place it warm place (35℃) till it becomes double size (about 8 - 12hours). I set overnight.
6. Pour the dough onto floured counter, then deflate it, knead briefly. Divide into 12 pieces. Shape them into rough balls.
7.Set the dough with cover for 20 minutes.
8.Reshape them into final balls.
9. Place it into warm place with spray water, rise them for 1 hour.
10. Meanwhile make the paste, sift the pastry flour and combine it with water, stirring well, until the mixture reaches the consistency of very thick glue. Don’t make it so thin that it runs, but if it is too thick it will be difficult to pipe.
Preheat the oven at 220℃.
11. When the buns are finished proofing, pipe the crosses onto them.
12. Bake the buns at 220℃ until the tops are browned, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to 200 ℃ and continue baking until browned all over, about another 8 minutes.
While the baking, make the glaze. Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring the mixture to a rolling boil, stirring often. Remove from the heat and set aside.
13. While the buns are still hot, brush glaze lightly. Then cool them down on a wired lack.