The Spirit of Easter and my English Hot Cross Buns

When I´ve started blogging, it was mainly for fun. I wanted to know wheather I can write about food or not, wheather I can take mouthwatering pictures of food I make or not (yeah, I´m slooowly getting there). But after a few months passed by, after I´ve moved from one country to another, after I´ve seen things and after I´ve eaten many delicious meals, this blog has become a part of me. (And this is only my 31st post. I know right?!) It all changed. Something what seemed like an innocent blog about baking became such a huge part of me. This is THE right place, this is what I was looking for. I´m bursting with ideas, my mind is full of recipes and my heart is full of passion. I simply can not keep it all for myself.

My first posts where about baking simple cakes, beating butter and sugar together (with no mixer on my hand), adding zest to a cake batter for enhancing my cakes´ potential. Then I discovered there were wholemeal flours, different kind of grains, and tons of different kinds of seeds and nuts and spices and.. then I fell in love with our Earth. I didn´t change into a total hippie, who eats grains and nuts as people may think, I´ve just started respecting my body, listening to it and trying to give myself the best I can.
You know how people say you are what you eat? Believe it or not, it´s true. And I know there are thousands different people out there with thousands differents opinions and thoughts on this and that, but that´s what makes us so damn beautiful.
So whatever your reasons for choosing a different path in your life are, you are very very VERY welcome to do this with me anywhere around the world (nobody knows where I´ll go next).
We can do whatever we want to.
Let´s eat together, let´s cook together, let´s be happy and let´s wonder.

As you may know, I´m living in England right now, working as a waitress in a restaurant. I spend many hours running around the restaurant with plates in my hands, working total 50 hours a week. So you can imagine that when a person so passionate about food as much as me gets the chance to be in a kitchen, it leads to not being able to stop with baking and cooking. Seriously. I could spend days and days just cooking and baking (and eating of course:).
During this Easter time, we were at work. What a shocker. Normally, I´d spend Easterwith my family, decorating the house with eggs and other yellow and green springy decorations, we would cook and bake a lot. But, living in England, where they have ´Bank Holidays´ and nobody knows why, we had to work. But fortunately, we could feel the Easter spirit a couple of days later, when visiting my godparents and my grandma(who spent 2 weeks visiting her daughter-my godmother) in Bristol. It was such an amazing trip for me, being able to see them after one year and a half. It sounds like a really long time, but becuse of my travels and green wonders, we were not able to see each other. But now, when their son was born, I had to go, there were not any excuses. Btw, their baby boy is adorable!
So, when you´ll be visiting Bristol anytime soon, please, please, go to the one and only St. Nichola´s Market. Walk through all of the aisles filled with things people sell there and which no one ever needs and then get yourself ready for the best bit. When I walked into an aisle with street food, all my taste buds started jumping and every cell in my body was alive. My body was full of excitement, that much I wanted to try all of it out there. Moroccan cuisine, Indian food, Middle Eastern Falafel, Smoothie Bar, Chocolateria.. I didn´t mind the rain, I didn´t mind I was a bit cold. We sat down into a moroccan caravan, because we finally decided what we wanted to eat the most. (Of course I stopped by at the smoothie bar and got myself apple and wheatgrass smoothie, and of course I stopped at the Falafel booth and took some with me when we were ready to go home :) The moroccan waietr came to us, welcomed us with all his heart and couple minutes after, we had our meals in front of us. Grilled halloumi with freshly baked pitta bread and tons of vegetables on my plate, I digged in. It was full of flavours, full of spices, nothing else was needed to be add to that dish.

But, let´s get to my recipe. I know it is after Easter already, but I have to post this beauties here.
It was my first time baking them, but I can say we´ve got ouserselves a new tradition. They are soft, full of delicious dried fruit, smelling like cinnamon and ginger heaven with a sticky glaze on top.
I took the first bite when they were still warm inside with a piece of butter-my heart melted, I could finally feel a little Easter-y.
And I think I´ll be making them more than just once a year. Yeah, they are that good.

Happy healthy wonders!

English Hot Cross Buns
2 cups wholemeal strong bread flour
1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
2 tbls honey or maple syrup
1/2 cup milk of your choice
30 g butter, unsalted
1 egg
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground ginger
pinch of sea salt
1/2 cup dried fruit of your choice

1 tbls honey
1 tbls warm water

In a bowl, mix together flour, yeast, sugar and salt, add cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg and stir through again.
In a saucepan, heat up the milk and butter, until the butter is melted and the milk is warm, not hot.
Make a well in the middle of flour and spice mixture a pour in melted butter and milk, followed by an egg. Bring the mixture together and using your hands, knead until smooth, about 10 minuutes.
Put the dough into lightly greased bowl, cover with cloth and let it rise until doubled in size.
When doubled in size, remove the dough from bowl, mix in the dried fruit and form small buns.
Put your buns on a baking tray lined with a baking paper (with a little space in between). Let rise for second time for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 220°C and by mixing all purpose flour and water, make a paste, fill up a piping bag (or plastic bag, cutting one corner of the bag out) and make cross on each bun.
Bake for about 15-20 minutes, until golden brown.
When baked, brush the top of each bun with mixed honey and water, to make them pretty.


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