An Easter Recipe / Flour and Stone
an easter recipe / flour and stone
The Thursday before Easter is the only day of the year you will hear music coming from the kitchen at Woolloomooloo Bakery Flour and Stone. It’s the day they roll more buns by hand than ever anticipated, mixing batch after batch, and still never quite managing to meet the incredible demand.
Production can be credited to the playlists of the bakers, which trump those of the barista just for that one day. It’s a medley of all sorts of course, most bringing laughter and increasing the speed of nimble fingers, and on one occasion even provoking tears and group hugs.
Flour and Stone owner Nadine Ingram shares their famous recipe with us ahead of Easter.
I think cooking and music are closely related in terms of the feelings they evoke but combining the two can be therapy for all kinds of healing.
– Nadine Ingram
hot cross buns
sultanas 60 g
currants 60 g
raisins 60 g
candied orange peel, finely chopped 50 g
strong bakers flour 400 g
unsalted butter, softened 60 g
light brown sugar 60 g
fresh yeast 20 g or dried yeast 10 g
milk 200 ml
salt 1 scant tsp
ground cinnamon 2 tsp
ground nutmeg 1 tsp
ground allspice 1⁄2 tsp
ground cloves 1⁄2 tsp
plain flour 50 g
water 50 ml
sunflower oil 1 tbsp
orange blossom water 1⁄2 tsp
ground nutmeg 1⁄4 tsp
caster sugar 150 g
water 150 ml
orange, finely grated zest and juice of 1
Before you make the dough, you will need to rehydrate the dried fruit. Put the currants, sultanas and raisins in a heatproof bowl and cover them with boiling water. Allow them to soften in the water for 15 minutes, then drain the fruit, discarding the water. Add the orange peel and mix to distribute it evenly.
Place all the dough ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook and mix on low speed for 4–5 minutes. You will see that the dough is starting to combine and although it will appear quite sticky, there should now be no flour at the bottom of the bowl. Increase the speed to medium and knead for a further 7 minutes to develop the protein in the dough. At this stage the dough will start to form a ball around the dough hook, peeling away from the sides of the bowl. Add the dried fruit to the bowl and mix for 1 minute longer to evenly distribute the fruit. Place the dough in a large lightly oiled bowl. Cover it with plastic wrap and put it somewhere warm to prove for 1–11⁄2 hours or until it has doubled in volume.
Line a baking sheet with baking paper and set aside.
Tip out the dough onto a lightly floured surface. The action of tipping the dough from the bowl will ‘knock back’ the air and it will then be ready to cut and shape. Use a large knife or a pastry cutter to divide the dough into 12 even portions, then roll each one into a round bun, dusting your hands with a little flour to prevent the dough from sticking a little flour to prevent the dough from sticking.
Arrange the buns on the prepared baking sheet in a neat grid of 12 so that all the horizontal and vertical lines are aligned. Cover the buns with a tea towel and put them in a warm place to prove for 30 minutes or until doubled in volume. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180°C and make the crossing mixture.
Place all the ingredients for the crossing mixture in a bowl and use a hand whisk to roughly mix them together until they form an elastic batter.
I favour a firmer crossing mixture that, when piped, sits proud on top of the buns. A thinner mixture will result in thicker, flatter crosses. You can adjust the mixture by adding a little water to make it thinner or a little flour to make it thicker – it’s entirely up to you.
Fill a piping bag fitted with a 7 mm plain nozzle with the crossing mixture, then twist the bag where the mixture stops to ensure the batter doesn’t spill out the end. Once you are happy that the buns have doubled in volume, pipe the crossing mixture onto the buns – firstly, running in one direction in long continuous lines down the middle of the buns and then, after giving the tray a quarter turn, crossing over those lines in the opposite direction, intersecting the lines exactly in the middle of each bun.
Place the buns in the oven and bake for 15 minutes, then, without opening the oven door, reduce the temperature to 170°C and bake for a further 15 minutes or until the buns are lovely and golden.
While the buns are in the oven, make the glaze.
Place all the glaze ingredients in a small saucepan and stir over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture begins to boil. Simmer for about 5 minutes or until it is thick and syrupy, then remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
If the glaze has become too thick to brush on the buns, briefly return the pan to the heat until it reaches the right consistency.
Remove the buns from the oven and while they are still hot brush the tops liberally with the sticky glaze, using a pastry brush so that it drips down the sides of the buns. It is not important for the glaze to be hot when you brush it over the buns, as it will melt nicely as soon as it hits the buns.
Serve the buns fresh with butter, or keep them another day and toast them up.
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