Last night, the Mr and I were watching the wonderful Mr Hollywood's Bread programme and trying to work out if anyone would actually be watching it as an informative sort of thing, or whether 100% of viewers were tuning in just to get a dose of the lightly lisping and rather personable silver-topped baker....patisserie porn, you might say (I was going to link you to a Daily Mail article that came up when I Googled him; all about his new slutty baker sex-symbol-ness, but I thought you might think I actually read the DM and judge me).
Because, you see, while I am a bit of a bread geek and fully committed to baking all we eat, I don't reeeeeeeally know anyone else that is even as remotely interested in getting their hands doughy.
It's just so hard to communicate that making bread is easy.....I guess because it takes a fair amount of time, in general, to go from start to edible loaf, it kind of comes across as a fiddle; and it's true that there are lots of steps and many variable factors, but for me, it's WAAAAY easier to make a loaf of bread than decorate a cookie or ice a cake.
I think Mr H gets the easy-ness across fairly well, but I'm still not sure that many people will see his chat as much more than Monday night snuggle-time fodder. And that's fine....because it IS lovely to watch, and if you're going to make bread you probably won't follow a recipe from a TV show. So I'll leave persuading you to join me in bread-geek-dom for another day and hit you with a recipe for hot cross bun biscuits....see what I've done there....hot cross buns, minus the yeast part. And I really hope you make them, and then you can snuggle afterwards.....see everybody wins. With Love and Cake.
Hot Cross Bun Biscuits.
Adapted from a Women's Weekly recipe
A few notes:
- I made these with glace cherries because I love them and had run out of mixed peel, which would give you a more traditional hot cross bunny taste. Do as you fancy or your cupboard allows.
- If you are a big fat weirdo marzipan hater, you could make the cross out of a flour/water paste as you do with regular hot cross buns.
You will need
2 x baking sheets, lined (or bake in batches)
125g butter, at room temperature
150g caster sugar
40g glacé cherries, rinsed, dried and chopped
300g self raising flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp milk (plus extra for brushing)
- So first job, as ever....pop the oven on to 160°c.
- In a big mixing bowl, beat together the butter, caster sugar and egg until smooth and pale.
- Stir in the currants so they are evenly distributed.
- Gently fold in the flour, spices and 2 tsp milk...keep mixing until it comes together as a dough; it might seem like this will never happen at first but fear not, keep pressing everything together with the back of a spoon and you'll get there.
- Pick walnut sized pieces of dough off and roll them between your palms into balls; arranging them on your baking sheet so that each biscuit has about 5cm to grow.
- Brush each biscuit with some milk.
- Roll out the marzipan into thin sausages and cut up into lengths the diameter of your biscuits.
- Lay two marzipan sausages on top of each other over each biscuit to create the cross.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, turning your trays around half way through if your oven cooks unevenly. When they're done they'll be bronze and puffed up.
- Let sit on the baking sheet to firm up for a few minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Snuggle timmee.