Hot cross buns

A tray with sixteen hot cross buns, close together and baked, on top of a silicon mat for baking

This is a revised version of the original recipe from Nigella.

When we made these last year, we faithfully followed the recipe to the letter, and while the result was very nice, at heart we knew that it could have been better.

So this year I decided to repeat the recipe and not go for better but for PERFECT. I printed the recipe so I wouldn’t miss a beat while cooking, but afterwards I did so many things in slightly different ways and added so many annotations that it almost is a different recipe (while still being a recipe for hot cross buns), hence I am posting it here.

Two hot cross buns, halved, toasted and with butter on top, melted in parts and showing the dates and raisins
Two hot cross buns, ready to eat
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Day trip to Paris, 2nd March 2024

Bread basket at Bouillon Julien - seven thick crust slices tightly packed onto a basket

Long story short: we had a chance to spend last Saturday in Paris, and so we did!

We were there for less than 12 hours. Yes, it sounds preposterous, but we embraced the absurdness of it with efficiency and organisation: we identified a few things we could do, but left ample margin to do so, booked a restaurant for lunch, and then executed with precision.

It really helps to live close to St. Pancras, so we could walk to the station and be there less than an hour after waking up. So, we were on time, and so was our train.

St Pancras concourse in the morning, and Tracey Emin's neon in the background. Our Eurostar train is to the left, waiting for us. A person wearing a high visibility vest waits by the travelator in the distance.
St Pancras concourse in the morning, Tracey Emin’s neon “I want my time with you” and our Eurostar train waiting for us
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In the soap shop of whimsy

The café in the soap shop

The rain was lashing the streets with violence (thank you for nothing, wind!). If you opened the umbrella, it was blown away and turned around. If you didn’t, you got all wet. It was all futile: whatever you did, you lost the battle.

It was putting me in a foul mood, so I thought maybe I should take my mind off the nasty weather by going to the shops.

I crossed this shop’s threshold —for there is no actual physical door in it, only an invisible wall of hot air separating the in from the out— and tried to gather all my layers in preparation of what was to come next: toiletry shopping.

My deliberate efforts to minimise the negative impact I leave on Earth had led me to conclude it would be a good idea to switch to soap rather than use shower gel, and what could be better than getting soap at a place where not only can you buy it by the weight, but is also made in an ethical manner?

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From Rinkoff’s Bakery to Floris Bakery in Soho

Detail of "Floris" sign on the Great Windmill Street side

The pictures in this fabulous article on Spitalfields life “at Rinkoff’s Bakery” caught my eye, as the owner was shown shaping a beautifully plaited bread.

One of my fascinations, as might or not have become evident by now, is the art of intricately shaped breads. Another fascination I like to indulge in is peeling off the layers of time.

This post combines the two!

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