It’s almost Easter, and I promise you, I was going to blog about hot cross buns. In my head I imagined making the best hot cross buns ever, using fresh yeast, the plumpest dried fruit and my own spice mix and then using cold liquids and ingredients so that they would need lots and lots of time to rise and thus becoming the most flavourful buns you can imagine, soft and airy and absolutely perfect. However, I was tired. I didn’t want to fiddle around making a new recipe and I didn’t want to make anything too time consuming. Besides, I had a hot cross bun from Morrisons (Or Asda) the other day, I spread it with butter. It was soft alright, but lacking in fruit and it was very salty. At the end of it, I didn’t feel like any more hot cross buns this year.
Yeah, call me lazy. Call me unbelievable because I wont blog about anything Easter related like a good food blogger should do. No Simnel cakes, no hot cross buns, no Easter eggs… But you know what? By the time you’re reading this you’ll be tired of Easter anyway because most likely, thanks to the over commercialization of Easter (and Valentine’s day, and Christmas, and Mother’s day…), you’ll have eaten ten hot cross buns, you’ll have recieved five cheap Easter eggs, you’ll have had Simnel cake until it’s coming out of your ears and I wouldn’t be surprised if you’d have some sort of Easter roast that Waitrose claims is something you should eat around Easter, just to boost their sales.
Here’s something special, something more exotic and something you probably haven’t had before. The recipe is from Matgeek and I hope you’ll find it refreshing. I didn’t make these only because I was lazy, it was also because I really missed those sweet types of rye bread that many people in Sweden eat. I remember eating it when I was small, eating it when I was a teenager and I wanted to eat it again. I recommend that you eat them as an open sandwich with butter and cheese. The original recipe calls for dark syrup but you can’t really get anything similar to the dark syrup we use in Sweden. Treacle tastes too much like licorice so just use golden syrup instead. I also added a little bit more flour to mine, only about 20 grammes.
(I, like many other Swedish people, dunked mine in hot chocolate. Keith thought I was a monster, and watched with horror as I ate)
100/3.5 oz g butter
500/17.7 oz g milk
50 g/1.8 oz fresh yeast
100 g/3.5 oz golden syrup
10 g/0.4 oz salt
3 tsp fennel
3 tsp aniseed
500/17.7 oz g strong white flour
320/11.3 oz g fine rye flour
Melt the butter and pour over the milk. Heat it until it’s lukewarm. Crumble the yeast in a kitchen machine bowl and pour over the milk and butter. Stir until no lumps of yeast remains. Add syrup and salt. Grind the herbs in a pestle and mortar and pour them in as well, stir slightly and pour in the flour. Let the machine knead the bread on a slow speed for ten minutes. Cover the bowl and let the dough rise to twice the size, this will take between 40 minutes and an hour depending on the temperature in your kitchen. Divide the dough in four parts and shape them into round balls, let them sit for ten minutes so the gluten network in them can relax. Flatten them til 5-8 mm/0.2-0.3 inches round discs and prick them with a fork. Cover with a towel and let them rise for 30 minutes or until they feel soft to the touch and the fingerprint your finger leaves behind when poking them springs back.Put the oven on 225 degrees C/437 degrees F (200 degrees C/392 degrees F if you’re using a convection oven), spray them with water and bake them for about ten minutes, opening the oven door half way through to let steam out.