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     As soon as the Christmas decorations are down it's time to start thinking about Marmalade!  In January Seville oranges come to Ir...


Hot Cross Buns!

I made these today and the seem to be going down rather well! I went out for an hour and when I came back only seven of the twelve remained. They are quite delicious!
Hot Crossless Bun
I made half the dough with fruit and half with chocolate chips. I left the dried fruit / chocolate chips out and after the first rising divided the dough in half and added fruit to one half and chocolate to the other, gave each a good knead. Then I divided each half in six and laid them on a buttered Swiss roll tin to prove. When they had all joined up and were well risen I baked them, but I forgot to cut the crosses in them before baking. Happy Easter!

1 sachet fast action yeast                           300 ml hand hot milk
500 g strong white flour                           1 tsp salt
1 tsp mixed spice                                    50 g sugar
100 g mixed dried fruit or milk & dark chocolate chips                          
 50 g soft butter                                        1dsp oil


2 tbs sugar                                             2 tbs milk

The temperature of the milk is correct when you can hold your little finger in it and count to 10 and it feels the same as your finger, neither to hot or to cold.
Sift the flour into a bowl and sprinkle in the sugar, the salt, the spice, dried fruit, the sachet of fast action yeast and the butter cut up. Mix the contents of the bowl round gently and make a well in the centre.
Pour in the warm milk and mix them in well to make a soft dough.
Knead the dough with a dough hook in a mixer or by hand on a floured surface until it is smooth and springy.
Shape the dough into a ball and smear it with the oil and put into a bowl to rise covered with a plastic bag or a damp cloth.
When the dough has doubled in size, about one hour depending on temperature. Turn the dough out on to a floured surface and divide it in to 12 pieces. Shape these into round balls and place them on a buttered baking tray. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave somewhere warm to rise for 20-30 minutes.                                            
Buttered Hot Cross Bun
When they have been rising for about 10-15 minutes set the oven to GM 6/400˚F/200˚C and uncover the buns mark a cross on each bun with a knife and cover them up again until the oven has reached its temperature.
Bake the buns for 15-20 minutes until golden and they sound hollow when tapped underneath.
Boil the sugar and the milk until syrupy and brush over the buns while they are still hot, giving them two coats. This gives them a nice shine. Cool the buns on a wire rack and eat the same day.                                        


A Bunch of Flowers For Mothers Day!


As the winter has passed and spring is here I thought a new photo at the top of the blog was a good idea. So last Friday I went out and took a bunch of photos of flowers for Mothers day yesterday and here are a few of them.

Wood Anemones!

Plum Blossom

Some Primroses!

Ash Buds
And the new picture at the top of the blog is of a quince flower. Enjoy the spring.