No bread is an island

...entire of itself. (With apologies to John Donne!)
I live and breathe breadmaking. I’m an evangelist who would like everyone to make his or her own bread. I want to demystify breadmaking and show it as the easy everyday craft that it is. To this end I endeavour to make my recipes as simple and as foolproof as I possibly can.

I call my blog 'No bread is an island' because every bread is connected to another bread. So a spicy fruit bun with a cross on top is a hot cross bun. This fruit dough will also make a fruit loaf - or Chelsea buns or a Swedish tea ring...
I'm also a vegan, so I have lots of vegan recipes on here - and I'm adding more all the time.

Friday, 6 April 2012

Hot cross buns with Alfie

My 6-year-old grandson, Alfie, was keen to make some buns with me.

Earlier in the day I'd soaked some dried fruit in anticipation, and, about 4.30 in the afternoon Alfie and I began:

Start with a spatula...
...get your hands in
Then, get...

...really stuck in!
We made the dough before dinner, then covered it with an upturned bowl and left it on the worktop.

After we'd eaten, we started again:

The dough had risen to fill the bowl, and was ready to shape

Cutting crosses in the top of the buns

Baked - and two went missing before I could take a pic! It was a very wet dough which makes it a little difficult to shape properly
I told Alfie to divide the dough into twelve pieces - so, under my direction, he cut it in half then divided each half into 3 pieces. Then each piece was divided in two. Alfie did all this, using my dough cutter. Then we shaped the rolls together, and placed them on the baking tray. I gave Alfie a demo of applying the crosses on top and he did the rest.

400g (or 2 mugs) strong white flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tsps each mixed spice, cinnamon and nutmeg
150g (1 mug) chopped dried apricots (unsulphured), 100g (half mug) sultanas (soaked overnight), plus 50g (handful) chopped dates 
25g mixed peel
1 dessertspoon fresh yeast 
250ml (or 2/3rds mug) soaking water
2 tablespoons olive oil 

For the method and shaping advice and variations, click here.

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