The sun is beaming, flowers are blooming, a light breeze blowing the trees, kids are playing and adults enjoying a lovely natter, just the kind of therapy we all need during Easter holidays. We are blessed with the presence of beautiful sunny spells especially when it comes to entertaining the kids, what better than to enjoy a picnic outdoors, followed by a treasure hunt to keep their minds and bodies active. For the adults? Well who’s complaining if there is a variety of delicious treats on offer from cupcakes, breads, sandwiches to tray bakes and rolls. To me, Easter is full of wonderful surprises and of course the best time to enjoy a variety of hot cross buns available: Chocolate and orange, ginger and honey, toffee fudge and Belgian chocolate, hmmm what a selection. Here I bring to you my own personal twist on hot cross buns, no there is no fruits or raisins in there instead, crystallised ginger and fresh lemon with cardamom spice. A crispy crust on the outside followed by a fragrant, soft crumb, enjoy it warm or toasted with a dollop of butter and pot of tea. Crystallised ginger and lemon is a married up well with warm cardamom spice, a bite of this will awaken your senses. These did not last in our house for more than a day.
Easter Lemon, Ginger and Cardamom Hot cross Buns
Preparation time: approx 4 hrs 30 minutes includes resting and proving times
Baking time: 15 minutes
240ml Whole milk
2 Tsp lemon extract
2 Tsp dried yeast
100g Caster sugar
550g White bread flour
Zest of 2 Lemons
2 Tsp Ground cardamom
1 Tsp salt
50 g small pieces of crystallised ginger
2 eggs, one beaten and one for glazing
For the paste:
4 Tbsp Plain flour
4 Tbsp caster sugar
water as required
1. In a pan add the milk and butter, gently heat till butter has melted. Add lemon extract and pour into a jug. Once it has cooled down to a lukewarm temperature, stir in one tablespoon of caster sugar and all the yeast. Stir the mixture, cover and let it sit to ferment for 10 minutes.
2. In a large bowl add the flour, salt, sugar, ground cardamom, lemon zest and ginger, stir the dry mixture. Finally pour the milk and beaten egg and knead into a dough. Knead for 3-4 minutes. Transfer dough into an oiled bowl, cover with a cloth and let it rest for 10 minutes.
3. Slightly oil your hands and transfer the dough onto a lightly oiled work board, knead for 10-20 seconds. Transfer it back to the oiled bowl, cover and rest for 10 minutes. Repeat this process twice more, however, on the final round of kneading, lightly dust the work board with flour instead of oil.
4. Place in an oiled bowl, cover with cling film and place in a warm place for 1.5 hours till the dough doubles in size.
5. On a floured work board, transfer the dough and knock back the dough, divide into 10 equal pieces and roll into balls. Place these onto lined baking sheets, cover with cling film and leave in warm place for another 1.5 hours to prove.
6.Pre heat oven to 220 degree c or 200 for fan assisted.
7. To make the paste, mix the flour and sugar with some water to make a spreadable paste. Transfer the paste into a piping bag with a nozzle.
8. Brush the buns with egg glaze, pipe the cross on each bun and bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
9. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.