Hot cross buns are one of my favourite seasonal foodstuffs so when I came across Dan Lepard's recipe for Spiced Stout Buns - hot cross buns with the addition of Guinness and tea - I couldn't wait to try them out. Please note: I am convinced that the stout adds a certain 'depth of flavour' (it isn't just that I revel in baking with booze). After reading the recipe over a few times I realised I would have to start mixing up the dough the night I arrived home to Petersfield from the 'fine city' so the buns would be ready in time for Good Friday "keep your nose tidy" breakfast with the family.
Shaped dough ready for the final prove, too many raisins?
Peel does not appeal to me (or Dad) so I used apricots instead. That seemed like a good idea except that finely chopping dried apricots is a beyond sticky process. I'm not sure if I would do that again. Something I do enjoy though is the thrill of watching bread dough bubble. Waiting for dough to prove leaves you with delightful amounts lots purposeful yet idle time. Whilst I was kneading, waiting, kneading and waiting Dad 'fed' the rhubarb with compost our heap.
This week rhubarb plants are mainly eating worms and egg shells.
As things got messier I enlisted the help of my favourite Norwich fan and little brother. Thanks Bob for preparing the baking tray whilst I was covered in dough and sorting out some music to bake by.
Bob's thumbs, the city and hot cross buns are on the rise!