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Hot Cross Buns. Traditionally eaten on Good Friday and marked with a distinctive cross on the top these spiced sweet buns are now appreciated throughout Lent. Here at The Hungry Guest we go that little bit further to ensure we bring our customers the tastiest products and our award winning hot cross buns are distinctively different; made using sour dough techniques. Read on to learn about what goes into making this Easter treat.
Firstly we begin by soaking all the lovely fruits that we use. We don’t soak them together either, each type is soaked separately in water ensuring the raisins, apricots, orange peel and lemon peel retain their own unique flavours. They soak for up to four hours to ensure they stay nice and juicy once they are baked.
The next stage is to make the dough. Flour from Can Mills in Shaftesbury is mixed with water, cinnamon, mixed spice and in order to get that extra special flavour a sour dough starter as well as a tiny amount of fresh yeast. This is then mixed in with the soaked fruits and kneaded for around 20 minutes.
Now it’s time for a rest. For the dough (and the bakers).
The fruity dough is allowed to gently prove and rise for an hour before being divided up into smaller portions ready to make each bun. Each one is then shaped by hand and then it’s time for another rest. This time for a couple of hours so the buns can fully rise and develop their flavour. Now to the important stage. The distinctive cross shape, made from a mixture of flour, water and icing sugar is placed on the top before they are finally coated with an egg wash. They are now ready to be baked.
They are placed on trays which are then carefully laid on the stone sole of our oven where they are cooked to golden brown perfection. The finishing touch is a sugar syrup glaze applied to the top for that extra stickiness and to really make them shine. The smell in the bakery when a fresh batch has been taken from the oven is divine. As for the flavour, well why don’t you try them for yourself this Easter.
They are best eaten fresh on the day (we bake batches every day and never sell anything that isn’t fresh that day) are awesome toasted under the grill with lashings of cold butter… but they will also last for two or three days if kept in an airtight container. If you can keep your hands off them for that long!”
Available in our award winning Petworth food shop, cafes and at farmers markets in the south.
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