Friday, March 21, 2008

Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns, Hot Cross Buns,

One a penny, two a penny,

Hot Cross Buns,

If you have no daugters,

Give them to your sons!

Hot Cross Buns


1/4 cup water - at room temperature or slightly above
1/2 cup lukewarm milk
1/4 cup melted butter
1 egg, lightly beaten
3-1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1-1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
pinch of ground cloves
pinch of allspice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup finely chopped, mixed candied fruit

2 T. granulated sugar
2 T. water

1/2 cup Confectioners' sugar
2 tsp. water

Preparation -
Place all the dough ingredients, except the raisins and fruit, in the bread machine pan. Set on the dough only cycle. Add the raisins and candied fruit at the bread machine's signal for adding extra ingredients. Remove the dough from the bread machine at end of dough cycle. Place it in a bowl, cover with a cloth and let it rest for 10 minutes.
**Divide the dough into 12 pieces. Shape the pieces into balls and place them 3 inches apart on a lightly greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise in warm place until almost doubled, about 45 minutes to an hour. Bake in a preheated oven at 375ยบ for 15 to 18 minutes, or until light brown on top. Remove from the oven. Place the baking sheet full of buns on a wire rack to cool. Prepare the glaze, then spread it over the warm buns. Let the buns continue to cool on the baking sheet. When completely cool, fill a cake decorating bag, fitted with a round tip, with icing. Pipe an icing cross on each bun. Or... simply spoon narrow stips of icing, in the shape of a cross, on each bun.

To prepare this recipe without a bread machine, use this mixer method -
Mix the yeast, 1 cup flour, sugar, salt, and other spices in a bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the milk and water together. Combine the dry ingredients mixture, the liquid ingredients, and the butter in a large bowl. Beat for 2 to 3 minutes at medium speed. Add the egg and beat 1 more minute. Stir in the raisins, fruit, and enough of the remaining flour to make a firm dough. Knead the dough on a floured surface for about 5 to 7 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Use additional flour if necessary. Place in a lightly greased bowl; turn over to grease the other side of the dough. Cover and let rise in a warm place. After about 15 minutes, test the dough to see if it has risen sufficiently and is ready to be shaped. To test, gently stick two fingers into the risen dough up to the second knuckle... take them out. If the indentations remain, the dough is ready. Continue to follow the preparation directions above, from the **.

A message from my friend, Jacqui, prompted me to do this blog. I made some buns the first couple of years I was here but found I was the only one to eat them. Fussy men! I have found them in one grocery store too, so I may just buy a couple of myself. They were such a family tradition all my life in Australia. The grocery stores were jammed full of packs of the buns and every bakery had scores of sticky hot cross buns on their shelves. Yummo!

John and I went out to look at new pc's last night. We notices the shelves were fairly empty and were then told that their is a new version of Vista coming out on April 1. Lucky for us that the young man told us or we would have probably come home with one of the older versions. Hopefully the bugs will be ironed out of the new version. We are going to get a nice big monitor this time. Hope this old girl lasts till then. . We have the lappie as back up but Johns fingers are too big for her. LOL. Ahhhh our life is so technical now, his job relies totally on his PC. Who would have thought?

Work calls.........have a nice Good Friday to all the Aussies, Poms and anyone else who celebrates it....xx

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Busy Busy Busy

It has been a busy time here these past couple of weeks. I did do a blog last week but it got eaten up by the gods of blogsville. Never mind, here I am again!

My darling grandson Beau turned 13 on March 11. He had a party at Coolum on the beach. Just boys, no time for girls he reckons. I felt so sad to have missed this special day. My daughter posted lots of pics of the happy boy and his merry band of men. Beau is a brilliant soccer play and he actually goes to a school that has a soccer program. 10 boys are chosen to enter this program each year at grade 8 entry level and he was a chosen one this year. The poor kid has to travel quite a ways to get to and from this school and with training and homework etc he has little or no spare time. He is a dedicated boy who has dreams of playing for the Brisbane Roar one day........for a start he says. LOL. You go Beau!
The ocean was quite choppy that day and my sister said it was nerve racking being responsible for 12 boys in the ocean. she said she was a nervous wreck. I would have been too!
Last week I took a vacation day when David could not go to his program (they had a power outage). I decided not to waste the day so I organized a guy to come and grade our driveway and put down 30 tons of crusher run gravel. It looks and feels so much better! Because our drive runs down hill, it is hard to keep some of it from washing away in bad storms. we have spent many hours shovelling the driveway off the road and back up the hill. LOL. The soil here is red clay so you can imagine the mess! It is all beautiful again now and hopefully it will last another 2 years. One day we would like to get asphalt ($8,000). Yikes that is 4 trips to Australia for us! LOL. Gravel will do nicely thank you!
I have been studying for a licensing exam I am taking for work in May. At the end of April I do a 4 day class so hopefully that will help! I am finding it harder than usual to retain knowledge and that is so frustrating. I jokingly tell John that I have dementia. It sure feels like it some days. After speaking to my doctor about this, she has assured me that it is all part and parcel of what our bodies and brains go through at this time of life. So anyway ,between work, study, the dogs and the boys here, I don't have a lot of time for blogs and my on line friends. Not to mention spring.......gosh there is so much to do in the garden as well! I need a second pair of hands! hehe.
Oh yea and the last piece of news is this.......I have joined Curves and have been going religiously and this is week # 3 and already I have so much more energy. I am so proud of myself. I highly recommend it to any ladies out there who want to start an exercise regime. It is perfect for me, I drive right past it on my way home and it only takes around 40 minutes a day. Yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa baby!

Toodle loo for now, y'all be good and enjoy Easter with your families. xx