I nearly fainted while I was grocery shopping a few weeks ago when I saw Hot Cross Buns, 4 for $8!!!! Whaaatttt???? $8 for only 4 Hot Cross Buns??? Honesty, I don’t care whose name is on them, if they’re not making it for me personally, they’re not finding their way into my shopping trolley! Besides, according to my Minion Kids and Minion Hubby, mine taste much better than store bought!
1kg bread flour (if you can’t find bread flour, make sure you get a bakers’ flour or strong flour)
21g dried yeast
450ml milk, warmed
Finely grated rind of 1 lemon
3 tsps mixed spice
2 – 4 tsp fine salt (to your own taste, I only ever use 2)
1/4 cup honey
150g unsalted butter
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup plain flour
1 tbsp melted butter
Enough water to make a piping consistency paste
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup water
Method: I always use a mixer for this. You could do it by hand, however as you all know, I’m a lazy baker and the mixer is always easier!!
In a large bowl, place 350g of the bread flour, yeast and 450ml warm milk. Beat on medium speed for 3 – 4 minutes until sticky. Cover with cling wrap and a tea towel and allow to double in size, approximately 30 minutes.
Add lemon rind, mixed spice, salt, eggs and honey and mix together with a dough hook.
Add remaining 650g bread flour and butter. Mix with a dough hook at low speed until it comes together as almost dough.
How you do this step depends on whether or not you’re a fruit or not person! We don’t do fruit or mixed peel in our Hot Cross Buns, so I skip adding the extras! Remove dough from bowl onto a lightly floured board. Spread out and add 1 cup currants and 1/2 cup mixed peel. Knead thoroughly until it’s a smooth dough. Put into a lightly greased bowl and allow to rise for approximately 45 minutes to an hour.
Divide the dough into 24 buns and roll into balls – this will be easier if you dust your hands with flour first. Arrange close together on lined baking trays so they will end up touching when they are baking. Cover with cling wrap and a tea towel and set aside to rise for 30 minutes.
Brush each bun with beaten egg. Add plain flour and melted butter to the remaining egg and mix well. Add enough water to this mix to make a piping consistency paste. Pipe the paste across the buns to make a cross – I find it easy just to pipe one long line across all of them in each direction.
Bake at 180°C for approxiately 25 – 30 minutes.
While buns are baking, make a glaze with caster sugar and water. Boil until sugar has dissolved and brush buns immediately after taking out of the oven, while they are still hot.
Spread with butter, watch it melt and chow down!!! Hide the rest of the buns from the family, and you may just have enough left for the next day!
There seems to be more food waste in this house than us adult Minions are willing to put up with any more. Last week, I saw somewhere that a lady manages to shop once a month for only $300, feeding her family of four pretty darn well for that month. Needless to say, I can’t do that with our family of six, but I figured that we could come close for $500, which is our normal fortnightly grocery budget.
In order to do this, Minion Dad and I sat down and worked out a monthly dinner plan so we knew what we absolutely needed for this shop. We’ve also decided what I would be baking, and what easy snacks we could do up for the little Minions that don’t involve turning on the oven. We shop at Aldi, Coles and occasionally Super Butcher, and I usually Eftpos each time. Today, I stopped off at an ATM and withdrew my budgeted amount instead, so there was less chance of temptation or impulse buys. I’ve put $100 aside for next fortnight, which will cover milk, bread, fruit and vegetables plus a few items I’m sure I’ve forgotten about!
We won’t shop like this every month. We’ve decided to try it out for alternate months, and in between we’ll make sure we stock up on meat and specials each fortnight so we can stick to our new shopping budget . . . keep your fingers crossed. I’ll make sure I keep you up to date on how we’re faring. Any tips and pointers to help us out will be much appreciated!!!
* Originally posted on the 11th November, 2014
* Note: We didn’t actually keep up with this, life got hectic and it was easier to go back to the same old, same old way of shopping. Transferring from my old site to my new one has renewed my motivation to start up again though, and I will definitely be getting back into this once I have family life organised once more!