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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50/50 cardamom buns

Cardamom buns cooling down on a rack

I loosely followed this recipe from Felicity Cloake, but either I didn’t have enough of some of the ingredients or didn’t want to sacrifice an egg for painting. So I did a few replacements and alterations, detailed below.

The results are surprisingly good, given it’s the first time I made these. The flavour is spot on, exactly what I want from a cardamom bun. They are moist and buttery enough, and the slightly coarser texture from the wholemeal flour wasn’t really in the way, with all that is going on, as there are already the big cardamom seeds interrupting any pretence of smoothness in the dough.

Also, since they have whole grains rather than being 100% refined flour, they are totally healthy 😆 (just ignore the sugar, and maybe the butter, eh??) đŸ„ŠđŸ„ŹđŸ„’

Cardamom buns cooling down on a rack
Cardamom buns cooling down on a rack
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La mocaorĂ , or Sant DionĂ­s sweets

Sant DionĂ­s sweets - from la MocaorĂ  - image depicting small colourful sweets shaped like fruits and vegetables

The 9th of October is the Valencian’s Community day, commemorating when King Jaume I conquered the city of Valencia in 1238 and yadda yadda… Of course, the most interesting aspect for us in this blog is the food, and there is a specific type of sweets that are eaten at that time of the year: dolços de Sant DionĂ­s or (pardon my terrible translation) Saint Dionysius sweets.

These are made of almond, sugar and egg white (plus whatever colouring you feel like adding). I used orange and a green colourings, and mixed them in various amounts, depending on which vegetable or fruit I tried to mimic.

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Malted loaf, 2

After the success of the previous malted loaf, I attempted another version but just with malted flour. It was OK, and since I sliced and froze most of the loaf I enjoyed it for a couple weeks (it’s very convenient that way).

Malted loaf, 2
Malted loaf, 2

It was a decent loaf, but it was still too compact and felt a bit dry (even before freezing). I wondered if that was because of having used a rye sourdough starter in addition to the malted loaf. So I started preparing a white starter.

Malted loaf, 2, sliced
Malted loaf, 2, sliced
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Malted loaf

Malted loaf

This is such a nice bread! (specially after the last two “failures”). It’s like the ideal granary loaf, only without the “industrial nasties” (have you looked at the list of ingredients in a supermarket loaf?)… and also without any decoration, because I forgot to flour it ?

We’re enjoying it toasted and buttered (and with a cup of freshly ground and brewed coffee… yum!)

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