It's hot cross buns week in the Guernsey Press Bake Off

THIS week’s Guernsey Press Bake Off challenge is hot cross buns, the perfect bake for Easter.

‘This is not the quickest recipe to make, but it is not that hard and my goodness the results are well worth it,’ said Tim Langlois, of Cobo Bakes.

Tim’s hot cross buns

For the buns:

500g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting

75g caster sugar

2 tsp mixed spice powder

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 lemon grated zest

2 tsp salt

2tsp fast-action dried yeast

40g melted butter

300ml milk

1 egg beaten

200g sultanas

50g finely chopped mixed candied peel

Oil for greasing

For the topping:

100g plain flour

100ml water

2 tbsp golden syrup, for glazing

1. First of all put the flour, sugar, spices and lemon zest into a large bowl. Then add the salt and yeast, making sure to place them on opposite sides of the bowl, so that they are not touching (this will help with the rise). Next you want to melt your butter in a pan or in the microwave and warm the milk separately at the same time. Add the butter and half the semi-warm milk to the dry ingredients. Then last but not least add the beaten egg and use your hands to bring the mixture together or an electric mixer with a dough hook. Make sure you get all the flour from the edge of the bowl. Gradually add the remaining milk, to form a soft dough (you may not need all of the milk but you probably will).

Right now it’s time to get your muscles going. Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Spread the dough out into a large flat area and pour the sultanas and mixed peel onto it. Fold the edges of the dough into the centre creating a little parcel of all the fruit. Then lightly knead the dough for a couple of minutes by hand or back with the mixer and the dough hook. The dough should be silky and elastic and be able to form a smooth ball.

Lightly oil the surface of a bowl and place the dough in it and then cover it with cling film and leave to rest in a warm place for about 90 minutes or until doubled in size.

2. Once the dough has risen for 90 minutes, knock it back while still in the bowl (push your fist into it once and then pull sides of the dough into the middle a couple of times). Then turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead the dough for a couple of minutes. Once complete, return the dough to the bowl, cover with cling film again and leave in the same warm place to rise for another 60 minutes, or until doubled in size.

3. Here we go again – turn the dough out on to a floured surface and divide into 12 equal pieces, shaping each of these into a ball. Do this by pulling the dough edges into the centre and then roll with the hand and repeat and then turn over and make a little ball.

Line one or two baking trays with greaseproof paper and place the balls on the tray, put them fairly close together and flatten them slightly with a little press.

Pop each of the baking trays into a large clear plastic bag (if you have one), making sure the bag doesn’t touch the buns or place two glasses on the tray and cover with cling film (the glasses keep the cling film off the buns). Then, you guessed it, leave it for another 60 minutes or again until the buns have doubled in size.

4. Preheat the oven to 220C/200C Fan/

Gas 7. Put your flour into a bowl along with the water and mix it together until it makes a paste. Next you need to spoon it into a piping bag and snip a 3-4mm hole in the end. Once the buns have risen remove from the bags or cling film and pipe a cross on each bun. Pop them in the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until they are a light golden-brown (you can turn them during the bake if necessary).

5. Put your golden syrup in a pan on the hob and melt it until it is super runny and while the buns are still warm out of the oven, brush them with a little syrup to give a nice shine. Once this is done, pop them on a wire rack to cool.

Top tip: Before they cool too much cut one open, pop some Guernsey butter in and enjoy with a cup of coffee or tea.

Note: Feel free to add choc chips, cranberries or any other flavour you would like.

  • Send in pictures of your hot cross buns to features@guernseypress.com by midday on Wednesday 31 March for the chance to win a £50 prize.

Citrus success

THE combination of fluffy meringue, lemon curd and pastry made this week’s Bake Off round the toughest task yet, but Guernsey’s keen bakers rose to the challenge once more.

Tim Langlois of Cobo Bakes was impressed by all the lovely-looking lemon meringue pies produced.

‘Well done, everyone, for some tremendous bakes,’ he said. ‘This is not the easiest to make and needs a lot of patience.’

Choosing the winner is never easy but this week Jacki Hughes scooped the £50 top prize for her St Clement’s meringue pie.

Winner Jacki Hughes. (29374556)

Tim said: ‘Her pie looked like it had a beautifully fluffy meringue and a really nice crust to the pastry. The lemon curd looked like a really nice consistency and kept its shape in the slice that was shown. It looked like a real success and the perfect homemade pudding. Well done.’

Jacki was delighted to win. ‘I made my St Clement’s meringue instead of plain lemon and it brought a little extra natural sweetness to it,’ she said.

‘I have always enjoyed baking but for the last year, since the first lockdown began, it has become a great distraction.

‘Each Saturday night with friends in the UK we have a virtual round-the-world dinner. We cook three courses, often including bread and cakes from countries we have visited. So far we have “dined” in 45 different places.’

Tim also singled out two runner-up entries. He praised Linda Falla, who he said had ‘made a beautiful meringue for the top of her pie that wrapped the edges of the pastry so well and looked like a really amazing pudding’.

India and Leo Abbott’s creation also earned his approval. ‘They looked so proud of their bake and it just looked like a really lovely lemon meringue that I am sure was the perfect pudding for after dinner if it made it that long).’

Both runners-up were awarded a free box of Cobo Bakes cakes.

Tim added: ‘We are loving seeing all the photos every week and we hope that you are enjoying making them and, most importantly, sharing them and enjoying them.’

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