I was due to fly home to the UK just after Easter, and obviously, that isn’t happening now, but I had made a rough(long) list of all the things I would eat when I was there. Chocolate is key over Easter, and I had my eyes on some Cadbury’s Mini Eggs, as well as some Creme Eggs to fill my suitcase with. I can now get these from the British Shop in Frankfurt, but I look forward to one thing every year and I can’t get my hands on them over here: hot cross buns. These sweet, subtly spiced buns are traditional British Easter food, filled with sultanas and mixed peel, with a white cross on top, and are heavenly toasted and slathered with butter on a cold day.
As my UK trip was cancelled and I’ll be missing out on my favourite Easter treats, I decided to try and make my own at home, with a little help from the original Star Baker, Mary Berry.
I love making bread, but I’d never worked with an enriched dough, where you add fats such as butter, milk, and/or eggs to the mix, so I was a bit unsure of what the consistency should be. It turns out I needn’t have worried as my main concern was not spilling sultanas all over my kitchen floor as I worked them into the mixture: I’m used to working with a lot lighter dough so my arms found this really hard work! But I trusted in Mary and carried on, and boy was it worth it.
The smell was incredible – a heady mix of cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, and a slight hint of fruit, it smelt exactly how I imagined. I couldn’t wait to get into them and try them, and I was so impatient that I didn’t even toast them (sacrilege!), but they tasted absolutely divine. I was a bit concerned as the recipe called for mixed spice, something I’ve not seen in Germany, so I bungled together my own version with what I had in the cupboard. I’m happy to report that I got the balance just right, and they tasted exactly like the real deal! It really made my day.
I’m beyond pleased with today’s new thing: I never thought of making my own hot cross buns before this challenge, and it’s been such a brilliant surprise to experience how similar they are. Actually, I’m going to say the satisfaction of making them myself makes these taste even better than the British ones, and I couldn’t be happier about it.