but she loves everything else…

Sunday Baking… in the kitchen and in the sunshine..

From the title of my blog you will have worked out that I am not a fan of the rain, I am a lover of all things sunshine.. sunshine in spring when its warm and the daffodils look radiant and happy, sunshine in summer when I live in shorts and jandals and on BBQ’s, sunshine in autumn when the trees are changing and I start to wear cosy welly socks and sunshine in winter when I”m enjoying a vin chaud piste side in the alps.. oh sunshine I love you…

So sorry, yes back to the point.. I digress.. rain yes, I hate it… but my point was that today it was sunny so a perfect day for pottering in the garden whilst baking Hot Cross Buns which require a bit of toing and froing.

This weekends baking exploits were inspired by Amy over at Weekly Bake-Off.  This bakey lady has decided to bake all of the delights in Mary Berry’s 100 cakes & bakes book to improve her baking ability while trying new recipes and having fun and meeting lots of like-minded bakers along the way.

Each Monday on twitter Amy @WeeklyBakeOff announces what the weeks bake is going to be, anyone who fancies joining her then has the week to make their creation.  Amy asks that you send her a pic of your masterpiece by Sunday evening when she then posts all the pics on her fab blog for us all to share.

So to the task, music on, windows open, baking bowl out… and action.

The first step (after putting my sun lounger out on the deck) was to get out my ingredients.  Flour, yeast, spices, milk, an egg, salt, sugar and butter. The recipe was really easy to follow, Mary certainly doesn’t leave anything to chance, all steps were clear and simple.

Mix everything together and knead for 10 minutes until poufy, put in an oiled bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave in a warm place for 90 minutes to double in size.

This then gives you 90 minutes to burn, I’m sure the more conscientious among us would get on with the house work, weed the garden, walk the dog, wash the car…. all well and good but as you previously read, I love sunshine and this afternoon in my part of the world shine the sun did. Fee + sunlounger + brand new Good Food mag = the essence of happiness.

90 minutes, two cups of tea & various words of encouragement to the hubby who was gardening, later and my dough was ready to shape.  My small ‘dod’ (a technical term for my lump of dough) had doubled in size and looked, even if I do say so myself, like a lovely billowey pat of gorgeousness.

After another quick knead it was bun rolling time, 12 little lovelies were shaped and set on an oiled baking tray to prove for another 30 minutes.

You know the drill.. back out to the sunshine, this time to welcome my Mum for an afternoon cuppa who was summoned to come and be suitably impressed by my Berry Baking efforts.

After their final prove it was time for the crossing and baking of these little gems.  I wasnt convinced by Marys advice to make pastry to make the crosses so I deviated slightly to the oracle that is Mr Paul Hollywood who suggested a little paste of flour and water in a piping bag for X marks the spot.

At this stage I was getting slightly excited, my buns actually looked like they were meant to, my first attempt wasnt looking too shabby and I might actually be able to post a pic to Amy @WeeklyBakeOff without her thinking I’d gone off plan and made baked potatoes instead!

So 15 minutes in a hot ish oven and they were ready, the smell of sweet cinamony bready goodness was amazing, glazed with a little warmed apricot jam these sticky morsels were looking divine.

Cooled slightly we dug in, splitting the first bun open I was over the moon, soft springy dough jewelled with dried fruit, they were perfect.. in a homemade wonky sort of way!

So thank you Amy for the inspiration, my blog will now boast an ‘I’m in the Weekly Bake-Off’ badge with pride.

I thoroughly enjoyed my first bash at baking Hot Cross Buns, a lazy Sunday filled with sunshine and baking, there is nothing better.

I probably shouldnt pack away my baking bowl just yet however, these are Easter buns after all and it looks like I’ll be baking them again soon because I know this batch may not even last until tomorrow!