bread

Hot Cross Buns

Do you know where Hot Cross Buns originated? In 12th century, buns were baked by Anglican monk and marked them with a cross to remind us of Good Friday. Later on, Hot Cross Buns were so popular, and eventually became a symbol of Easter weekend.

Today, we can eat Hot Cross Buns anytime we want, as it is available in our local supermarket. We can also make it at home. They’re very similar to Cinnamon buns but it has more spice in it. It could be enjoyed plain, with raisins, dried currants or even cranberries. But my daughters don’t really like raisins, so I just omitted the dried currants from the original recipe from Delish.


Hot Cross Buns Recipe

INGREDIENTS:

FOR THE ROLLS:  

1 cup warm milk

2 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast, plus 1 tablespoon sugar for activating the yeast

1/3 cup butter, melted

1 large egg yolk

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3 cups all-purpose flour (plus more for kneading)

1/2 cup 1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 cup raisins, optional

1 teaspoon lemon zest Egg wash, for brushing

FOR THE GLAZE:  

1 cup icing sugar

1 tablespoon milk

1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

How to Make Hot Cross Buns?

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. In a medium bowl, combine milk, yeast and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Allow the yeast to activate by leaving it in a warm place for about 5-10 minutes.  

2. Whisk in butter, egg yolk and vanilla into the bowl with yeast mixture.  

3. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the yeast mixture. Using a wooden spoon, stir the flour-yeast mixture until thick. Stir in raisins.  

4. In a lightly floured surface, turn the dough in and knead until it is soft and elastic, about 8-10 minutes. Do not over knead. Shape the dough in a big ball.  

5. Grease a large bowl with butter and put the dough in. Cover with plastic wrap or cloth. Let is rise at room temperature until doubled in size, about 1 ½ hours.  

6. Turn the dough in a lightly floured surface, pat the dough and shape it into a large rectangle. Divide the dough into 12 proportions using a sharp knife or pastry silicone cutter. Butter a 9” x 12” baking pan.  

7. Shape each dough piece into a roll, tuck the edges under. Place into the buttered pan, seam side down. Cover with plastic wrap or cloth and let it rise in a warm place until the dough pieces have doubled in size, about 45 minutes.  

8. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F or 180 degrees C. Brush the tops of the buns with egg wash. Bake the buns until they are golden and puffy, about 22-25 minutes.  

9. MAKE GLAZE: Whisk together icing sugar, milk and lemon zest until smooth, Transfer into a piping bag and make small cut in the corner of the bag or use round piping nozzle. Pipe a thick cross shape over each rolls.  

Serve and enjoy these Hot Cross Buns with family and friends!

NOTES:

  • Do not over-knead the dough or the hot cross buns will turn out hard.
  • You can add raisins, dried currants or cranberries.
  • Use all-purpose flour.
  • Make sure the yeast mixture is foamy and activated.
  • Use the baking pan, not cookie sheet. 

recipes

MindFood: Sticky Pork Belly with Steamed Coconut Buns

INGREDIENTS:

FOR STICKY PORK BELLY:

1 kg pc. boneless pork belly with skin on
1/4 cup light soy sauce
2 Tbsp black vinegar
1/4 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
2 Tbsp grated ginger
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
3 spring onions, cut into 10 cm lengths
3 long strips of orange rind

FOR COCONUT BUNS:

400 ml can coconut milk
4 cups self raising flour
2 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp toasted sesame seeds, to garnish
Spring onions, Asian pickle to serve

INSTRUCTIONS:

FOR STICKY PORK BELLY:

1. Choose a thick, meaty piece of boneless pork belly, with even layers of fat. Preheat oven to 160C. Using a sharp knife, slice pork belly in half. Score the skin of the pork belly in a crisscross pattern. Sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, then massage into the grooves.

2. Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine soy sauce, black vinegar, chicken stock, brown sugar, honey, ginger and garlic. Mix well to combine.

3. Heat a large cast iron oven-proof pan over a medium-high heat. Place pork belly skin side down, and cook for 3-4 minutes or until browned. There is no need for oil as the fat will render out the skin. Turn over so the skin is up, then remove from heat. Pour over the combined soy sauce mixture, along with star anise, cinnamon, spring onions and orange rind.

4. Cover and transfer to the oven. Bake for 2- 2 1/2 hours or until tender. Uncover and cook for a further 30 minutes or until the glaze is reduced and the pork is golden brown.

FOR COCONUT BUNS:

1. To make the coconut buns, place the coconut milk into a medium sized bowl. Sift in self-raising flour and season with salt.

2. Mix lightly to combine into a soft dough.

3. Divide into 12 small portions, or 8 if you prefer them larger.

4. Place onto small baking paper squares, or in large muffin cases. Brush with sesame oil, then sprinkle with sesame oil, then sprinkle with sesame seeds.

5. Fill a wok or large saucepan with water. Allow it to come to a rapid boil, then place buns into a steaming basket with a lid. Ensure there is room for the buns to expand.

6. Steam on a high heat for 10-12 minutes or until puffed and cooked.

TO SERVE:

Slice pork and serve with coconut buns, spring onions, Asian pickle and extra marinade.

NOTE:

To make Asian pickle, combine 1/2 a small daikon and 1 carrot, finely julienned. Heat 1/2 cup white wine vinegar with 1/4 cup sugar and 1/2 tsp salt to dissolve. Pour over daikon and carrot. Toss to combine. Leave to marinate for 1 hour.

Serve and enjoy Sticky Pork Belly with Steamed Coconut Buns with family and friends!

Disclaimer: This is not my original recipe. 

Source: MindFood

recipes

Spirulina Chicken Karage Bao

INGREDIENTS FOR BAO:

2 Tbsp Caster sugar
1¼ tsp Active dried yeast
200 ml Warm water, or a dash more if needed
300 gm Plain flour (2 cups)
1 tsp Salt
½ tsp Baking powder
1 Tbsp     Spirulina powder or Malunggay powder
1 Tbsp Peanut oil, choose a good quality one, plus extra for brushing

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Put sugar and yeast in a small bowl of warm water. Leave in a warm place for about 5 minutes until the yeast is frothy.

2. Sift the flour, salt and baking powder and spirulina powder into the bowl of an electric mixer with a dough hook. Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour the peanut oil. Add in the yeast mix to flour mixture. Mix until it turns into a dough. The dough should form into a soft, but not sticky ball.

3. Place the dough on your bench top and knead by hand until it is smooth, about 2 minutes.
Lightly oil and place the dough in a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and a clean tea towel. Leave in a warm place to rise until the dough has doubled in size, approximately 1 hour.

4. Divide the dough in half. Cover one half with plastic wrap and set aside. Divide the dough into 5 even-sized pieces, so you’ll have 10 dough pieces all in all. Roll each piece into a bun shape and roll them in an oval shape. Place on a piece of baking paper as you go, making sure they are well apart. Lightly brush with peanut oil and cover with plastic wrap. Leave to prove for another 15 minutes or until they increase in size (half of their original size again).

5. Repeat with all the remaining piece of dough.

6. When ready to steam, put enough water in the steamer to prevent it from boiling dry. Place a piece of baking paper in the base of the steamer.

7. Carefully lift the first five buns and place in the lined steamer. Replace the lid and cover with a cloth and steam for 10-12 minutes until the buns are puffed and sound hollow when you tap the base.

8. Carefully lift out the buns. Repeat to steam the remaining five buns.

INGREDIENTS FOR CHICKEN KARAGE (JAPANESE FRIED CHICKEN)

1 lb chicken breast or thigh
1 inch ginger
8 cloves garlic (You can adjust as you like)
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp sake (or dry sherry)
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp granulated sugarSea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup corn starch
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Vegetable oil for frying

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Pat dry the chicken with paper towel. Cut each chicken breast or thigh into 2 inch pieces. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Put the chicken in a large bowl or storage bag.

2. Grate the ginger and mince the garlic (with garlic presser).

3. Combine the chicken and all the seasonings in the bowl (or storage bag). If in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and rest in refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

4. Bring the oil to 320-338F (160-170C).

5. Combine corn starch and flour, and whisk all together.

6. Add the flour mixture to the chicken.

7.  Gently drop each piece of chicken separately into the hot oil. Do not overcrowd so as to cook the chicken evenly and quickly. Deep fry approximately 3-5 pieces at a time (depending on the pan).

8. Cook the chicken until it is cooked through and the outside is light golden color. If the oil temperature is too high, the chicken will change its color quickly and will burn.

9. Transfer the fried chicken onto a wire rack to drain excess oil.

10. Serve and enjoy with family and friends!