The recipe I used to Christen my machine was a hot cross bun recipe. Quite fitting for the season, at the same time as giving me the chance to use the dough hook attachment that comes with the machine, something which I've wanted for quite a while.
What a novel experience for me to weigh out my ingredients into the ample sized mixing bowl that comes with the machine, and put the machine to work with the dough hook whilst I got on with making littlest baker's dinner (I told you I wasted no time in opening the box, we'd just walked in the door!)
I actually made two batches of hot cross buns, one was a Nigella recipe and the other was a Simon Rimmer recipe. I didn't realise until I started looking around at recipes just how many variations of the same thing there could be, a bit like everyone has their own Bolognese recipe.
First up was Nigella's. Something I was concerned about with this recipe is the lack of sugar in the dough, I always thought hot cross buns should be sweet, but I followed the recipe and they worked, go figure!
Ingredients:For the dough:
50 gram(s) butter
1 orange(s) (zest)
2 cardamom pods
400 gram(s) bread flour
1 packet(s) yeast (easy blend)
125 gram(s) mixed dried fruit
1 teaspoon(s) ground cinnamon
0.5 teaspoon(s) ground nutmeg
0.25 teaspoon(s) ground ginger
150 ml milk
For the egg wash:
1 medium egg(s) (beaten with a little milk)
For the cross on the buns
3 tablespoon(s) plain flour
0.5 tablespoon(s) caster sugar
2 tablespoon(s) water
For the sugar glaze:
1 tablespoon(s) caster sugar
1 tablespoon(s) water (boiling)
This is Nigella's exact recipe, I deliberately left out the cardamom pods and ginger as I really don't like them I think with these things it's a case of cherry picking what you like and leaving out what you don't, you do have to eat it after all!
|Kitchen machine, kneading my dough.|
|Finished dough, ready to rise.|
|Ready for the oven|
|Finished and cooling, ready for the taste test!|
Next up was the Simon Rimmer recipe, this one seemed to be a more traditional recipe, using sugar in the dough which gave them a bit more rise (in my opinion). This recipe made 12 larger buns.
Ingredients:450g/1lb strong white bread flour
7g/½ oz dried yeast
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp allspice
1 orange, zest only
250ml/9fl oz milk
1 free-range egg
For the cross:
4 tsp caster sugar
4 tbsp water
For the glaze:
1 tbsp smooth marmalade (I used apricot jam, does the same job)
1 tbsp soft dark brown sugar
2 tbsp water
Preparation method:For the dough, sift the flour, dried yeast, cinnamon, allspice, raisins, orange zest and sugar into a bowl.
Warm the butter and milk together in a saucepan until the butter has melted. Remove from the heat and whisk in the egg.It is worth letting the milk/butter cool slightly first, to prevent the egg cooking.)
Fold the milk mixture into the flour mixture to form a dough.
Tip the dough onto a floured work surface and knead for 10 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic.
Divide the dough into 12 pieces, shape into balls and cover with a damp cloth. Set aside for 12 hours, or until the dough has doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
Meanwhile, for the cross, mix the flour, sugar and water together in a bowl and spoon into a piping bag with a plain nozzle.
Place the buns onto a baking tray and pipe a cross onto each bun. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until cooked through.
Meanwhile, for the glaze, heat the glaze ingredients in a pan until the sugar has melted and the mixture is smooth and glossy.
Remove the buns from the oven and immediately brush each bun with the glaze. Set aside to cool.
Serve the hot cross buns warm with butter.
|Finished dough, rising...smoother than Nigella's.|
|All of the finished Hot Cross buns, ready for our meeting at work.|
A great way for me to try out my new kitchen gadget! I was very pleased with how the Creations kitchen machine handled the dough and the fact that it left my hands free to get on with other things knowing that it was busy kneading the dough for me!
My only slight negativity with it is that although the large steel mixing bowl is great for preventing flour flying up out of the bowl if not using the splash guard that comes with the machine it makes it difficult for the ingredients to mix well without a helping hand going in and stirring it a bit every now and then.
But that really is my only negativity, and for the price point of £199 it is easily far more economical than a Kitchen Aid. I have also heard that Kitchen Aids and the like have a tendency to 'walk' the Russell Hobbs wins there too as it has suction pads on its feet which prevent this. All in all a very useful machine for any kitchen.