As both Easter and Passover are upon us, I know you all want to whip something up special for each occasion, so here you go….. Hot Cross Buns, a real crowd pleaser for the Christians and Matzo Crack (matzo, toffee and chocolate, oh yeah) for our Jewish pals. Okay so the buns might take you all afternoon, but come on you’re only going to make them once a year, the matzo however could be in constant recipe rotation.
The Hot Cross Bun recipe comes courtesy of this doozy…. the modern day version of my beloved Edmonds Cookbook. It came by pigeon post to me via the family and I have been pouring over it ever since, scheming all sorts of traditional N.Z. fare that I will be randomly inflicting upon you people. HAHA….. anyway here goes.
Hot Cross Buns
1/2 pint milk
4 1/2 tsp active dry yeast (2 packages)
4 1/2 c flour
4 tbsp brown sugar (I used raw brown)
1 tsp salt
3 tsp allspice, (I also added 1/2 tsp ground ginger )
1/2 stick butter (2 oz) cut into pieces
1 c currants (I also added 1/3 c finely chopped crystallized ginger)
For the Crosses: mix 2 tbsp flour with 1/2 tsp baking powder and 2 tbsp water, to make a paste
For the Glaze: heat 3 tbsp sugar with 3 tbsp milk to combine
Warm milk and sprinkle yeast over. Stand 5 mins. Whisk flour, sugar, salt and spices in bowl of standing mixer. Using your fingers rub butter into flour mixture. Add eggs and milk/yeast mixture. Combine using the paddle then switch to dough hook, whale on it for a bit, then mix in the currants and ginger (if using).
Cover with a damp towel and leave in a warm place 2 hours, until its doubled in size. Okay here you can alternatively put it covered in the fridge overnight, knead it out in the morning and let sit 1 hour to get to room temperature…but if your doing it in the one go.. follow on.
Flour top of dough, turn it out onto a board and knead for a minute or so, divide into 24 pieces and roll each piece into a ball. Place on greased baking sheet, cover and leave another 45 mins. Turn oven on to 400F, mix the flour and water cross paste, cut a X in the top of the buns and pipe paste on top…. (yes yes I know just but remember once a year right) I used a zippy with a hole cut out the end. Okay now they are ready for the oven 15 mins, turn tray 10 mins more, when they come out brush with the glaze (don’t skip the glaze it really makes them)now you can eat, great with big smear of butter….. either that or you stopped reading about 2 paragraphs ago.
Matzo Crack (my expanding waist line would only allow me to make a 1/2 sheet pan, 9 x 13, but it can very easily be doubled to fit a larger sheet pan, 12 x 17)
1 box Matzo
1 stick butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup chocolate chips (dark)
optional toppings: pistacios, crystallized ginger, sea salt
Line baking sheet with tinfoil and parchment. Fit matzo snugly in pan, leaving no gaps. Medium heat melt butter and sugar together, stirring for about 3 mins until it thickens, pour over cracker surface evenly. Put in 350 oven for about 10-15 mins, toffee should bubble up but not burn. Take out cover with chocolate chips, leave a few minutes for the heat of the pan to melt chocolate, spread evenly with spatula, sprinkle over additional toppings, or not. Break into pieces and prepared to be addicted.
This recipe comes courtesy of the lovely Sarah.