Happy Easter

Easter was a blast this year!  We spent it with friends and their children.  We had an egg hunt, a scavenger hunt with excellent clues, ate hot cross buns, and then to Tandoor Indian Restaurant for the lunch buffet.  
I had loads of wonderful photos, but for some reason my memory card decided to reject my efforts to record the day.  So you are looking at the few that I have.  Above are the up-cycled stuffed bird and fish made for our friends’ kids.  
Kneading.
Dough waiting to be baked. 
I made hot cross buns as well, they are a tradition in my family’s Easter celebration.  I lost the finished photos, alas.  
The recipe I use is from the Joy of Cooking, which is my cooking Bible.  I use a 1975 edition because it has items such as how to skin and cook a squirrel, how to cook black bear, and other fun things one could only dream of creating.  
Hot Cross Buns
Scald 1 cup milk.  Scald means to bring mixture just to a boil.  Add and stir until dissolved: 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/8 tsp nutmeg, 1/4 cup raisins, 2 tbsp butter, 1/4 tsp salt.  
Sprinkle 1 package active dry yeast over 2 tbsp 105 – 115 degree water.  Use a thermometer for this step, if water is too cold or too hot, you will kill your yeast.  Add to the milk mixture wen it has cooled to lukewarm.  Beat in 1 egg.  Stir in part of the 2-2/3 cups all-purpose flour.  Knead in the rest.  Use only enough flour to form a dough that can be handled easily.  This means the dough is not too sticky, for me this means it sticks to my hands a little but does not significantly stick to the board I am kneading on.  If you add too much flour your final product will be too dry.  
Brush top with melted butter.  Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk (about 1 hour).  I turn on my oven to 350 degrees for 1 minute to get the perfect warm place for rising dough.  

Shape dough into 18 balls and place on a greased baking sheet.  Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk.  Bake in a preheated 425 degree oven about 20 minutes, until golden brown.  Watch carefully, as buns that are too brown are dry and not very tasty.  Decorate with the traditional cross using milk glaze.  
Milk Glaze
Sift 1/4 cup powdered sugar.  Add 2 tsp hot milk and 1/4 tsp vanilla.  
The whole gang at Tandoor. 

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