Unlike the Son of God, my ‘Hot Cross Bunnies’ did NOT rise again. They didn’t even rise ONCE. Apparently I’m no good with yeast-based recipes (couldn’t tell you why – perhaps I need new yeast? I’m not one of nature’s little bakers, and it seems as though bready kinds of things are consistently beyond my capabilities) but the bunnies looked damn good on the tray PRIOR to the point where I tried to give them a second proving, and they all ended up misshapen and wibbly.
BE AS THAT MAY – it’s Good Friday morning as I type this, and the flat is slowly filling with the scent of mixed spices and baked goods, and scrumptiousness. So that’s alright.
They count as my first Thing, cos they’re currantly (geddit?) smelling delicious and my stomach is growling and I can think of little else, bar the fruity, spicy goodness, with butter melting slightly in the middle of the….OHMIGOSH…I’ve just thought – this means I’m going to have to butcher the bunnies to butter their innards! Oh BOO!
Update – I’ve just taken them out of the oven to cool, and they’ve turned into great big, fat, roundy-delicious, hot, hot, Hot Cross Bunnies, and they’re SO adorable…I just need to wait for them to cool, then I’ll glaze them and BOOM, baby!
So what else? Life’s been challenging, again, so I’ve been scraping around looking for silver linings – determinedly running out in the rain to shout at the clouds and send them scurrying sideways to let a few glimmers of sunshine through. I’ll share the glimmers, and some are distinctly shinybeautiful, so there’s that.
My job this week has kept me busy and distracted and mostly up-and-together, doing something straightforward and achievable. That’s really important. It also didn’t rain on me (too much) and THAT’S really important, too. Or, it is if you’re like me and you hate, hate, HATE the rain (especially on my hands but I’ve really no idea WHY that bothers me so much).
My office day was incredibly productive – I completed the very first of my diploma units to the point where I printed out a load of submission forms, had it counter-signed by my assessor, and SENT IT OFF TO BE GRADED. Super exciting! I also took an exam and passed, if not with flying colours, then robustly and with confidence.
My darling Soulie CLEANED MY KITCHEN! Ohmigosh. He did SUCH a good job of it, and so many things are *sparklyshinywonderful* which were shamefully messy before. I tell you what – if you want a vetting process for letting a homeless person stay with you – just check if they like cleaning, and if they do, they’re IN! (Kidding – I’d let Vince stay even if he made a mess instead of tidying it. Probably)
Today (Good Friday (not at work because it’s a Bank Holiday (as, in fact, is Easter Monday, so I get two days off work to do with as I will (and Monday, join in an Easter Egg hunt with Niece and Neff (and perhaps try making Hot Cross Bunnies again, but with new yeast (I think the two days off work count as their own thankful – don’t you? Let’s just say they do)))))) I’m going to get to spend a HUGE chunk of time with my Sis, which is important and wonderful because we both seem to not manage to keep up with one another as much as would probably be good for us. So we’re gonna.
I’m participating in NaPoWriMo over at the Well Tempered Bards, and to be honest, I’m SUPER happy about it, because I was experiencing a real log-jam for poetry, and the prompts and the effort I’m making to actually DO the poem-a-day thing, is helping to un-bung all kinds of neural pathways. YAY POETRY!
I’VE HAD AN INVITATION! Looooooooooook! ME, who veryvery rarely gets invited to parties – invited to ANOTHER GLORIOUS LITERARY EVENT, hot on the heels of Helena’s party last week! I’m loving that I’ve fallen in with a circle of writers and authors who are so willing to include me and let me join in with their fun and promotions. SO if you’re a writer, poet or musician, DO let me know if you want to join us, and I’ll do my best to add your name to the list at the door. There are going to be games, Q&A sessions, featured Creative Types, the chance to just ask ANY of those talented people any question you like about their work. And of course there will be PRIZES!
Keep your eyes peeled, too – there are some truly DELICIOUS writers coming up on A Slip of the Lit soon (which, this week, was graced by none other than THE PARTY-PLANNER POET herself – Mizz Tamara Woods.
I’ll leave you with something to PIN, and a recipe to go with it, because fo REAL; since making these, I’ve had compliments and requests til my head is SPINNING. The bunnies are COMPLETELY delicious and NOT MY RECIPE. Though if you do what I did and forget to add the spices until AFTER the kneading, I guess you kind of make it your own…but I’ll still link to the original, by Sorted, because those lads are AWESOME and I don’t want to go to jail for the sake of a baked good (even one as amazing as these are)
For the buns
350g strong white/bread flour
150g wholemeal flour
1 tsp salt
1 tblsp caster/superfine sugar
1 tblsp mixed spice
2 tblsp mixed peel
300ml warm milk
7g dried yeast
For the crosses
100g plain flour
For the glaze
3 tblsp apricot jam
3 tblsp water
Dissolve the sugar in the milk and warm it to body temperature. Sprinkle on the yeast, then stir it, allowing it time to activate. Put the flour, salt, spices, egg, mixed peel and milk mixture into a bowl and combine them until they form a lump, then knead for ten minutes. Place the dough back into the bowl and cover with a clean tea-towel. Leave in a warm room until the dough has doubled in size, or about an hour. Knock back the dough and then stretch it into a pocket to hold the sultanas. Knead them through, then divide the dough into 12 pieces and shape them how you wish (bunnies is cool but if you prefer regular buns, that’s okay too). Place them on greaseproof paper on a baking tray and leave them to prove for a second time, now for 45 minutes.
Pre-heat your oven to 200C/390F. Mix the plain flour and the water (a little at a time) until you have a thick paste. Spoon it into a piping bag and pipe the crosses onto the bun(nnie)s. Place into the oven for 16-18 minutes until golden brown, then remove from oven and allow to begin cooling.
Put the jam and water into a small saucepan and warm it through until it all goes runny, then paint it onto the tops of the buns with a pastry brush. Decorate with sprinkles whilst the glaze is wet, if so desired.
And don’t forget to link up your Ten *MWAH*