This morning I needed to make bananananana bread for Matthew over the road. It’s his favourite. He’s home from school and the young man must have his bananananana bread. Also on my mind was hot cross buns. Should that be ‘were’? I don’t know.
Paranoid about running out of bread flour, we have a stash. So that was ok. I take back everything I said to Angie about her 10 year old grains because I found some sultanas that went out of date in 2015. Then I tried to find some yeast that wasn’t for our electric breadmaker. I found some. Out of date. Dang. Anyway, I used both.
450g bread flour, one teaspoon of salt, 7g dried yeast (in-date if possible), 125g caster sugar, two teaspoons mixed spice. Into the Kenwood bowl it goes. 50g butter in a Pyrex jug. Add 350ml full cream milk. Microwave till the butter has melted and the milk is warm but not hot (put your finger in it to test). Add one beaten egg to the milk and butter, then add it all to the flour and turn on the Kenwood which has the dough hook attached and churn away for five minutes. Alternatively, do it all by hand. The dough will be on the wet side. It should be. Knead by hand on a work surface for 10 minutes. Put back in the bowl (or leave in the bowl if using the Kenwood) cover it with a clean cloth and put somewhere warm to prove for a couple of hours. Ours goes on the south-facing kitchen windowsill in the summer and the airing cupboard in the winter.
Weigh out 125g in-date sultanas. Peel, core and chop one eating apple. Grate the rind from one orange. After the dough has proved, remove the cloth and add the fruit. and grated orange rind Knead again for five minutes by hand or a couple of minutes in the Kenwood. Leave for another half an hour.
Turn the oven to 220C. Line two baking trays with baking parchment. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface. ‘Punch it in the middle’ then draw the sides to the middle, turning as you go. Flip it over and brush off any flour. Divide into equal sized portions and roll each piece (the size is entirely up to you, but remember that they will spread) into a ball and place on the baking tray with a little space between them. You should get 12 to a standard sized tray. Mix a little plain flour with water until it makes a thick but runny paste. Then trail it across the top of the buns in a X.
Place in the centre of the pre-heated oven for about 15 minutes then check them. If done, they should feel firm, not doughy. If you are unsure, take one out and cut in half to check. (You can always put it back again if it needs a couple more minutes).
Remove to a cooling tray and whilst still warm, brush with plum or apricot jam , diluted slightly with boiling water – just to glaze.
Dare you not to eat one whilst they are cooling!