Hot Cross Buns

Hot cross buns! Hot cross buns!
One a penny two a penny - Hot cross buns
If you have no daughters, give them to your sons
One a penny two a penny - Hot cross buns

This is the earliest memories I have hot cross buns the nursery rhyme which I used to enjoy singing as a child, but I actually came across them when In London, they are quiet popularly served as a snack.  In India quiet recently it has gained some importance especially served during Good Friday after the Mass the cross on the buns representing Christ on the Cross.  There a various superstition associated with the hot cross buns and people say having them on Good Friday Wards of Evil.  Any which ways I love eating this hot & fruity bun all year round glazed with sugar syrup nicely toasted and buttered.

Ingredients (Makes Approx 12 buns)

55gms of powdered sugar/caster sugar.
125ml water
125ml milk
1table spoon active dry yeast.
450gms all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1tbsp mixed spice powder (Spice Blend I have demonstrated below)
50gms sultanas
50gms mixed fruit peel ( I personally like using dried fruits soaked in rum which always keep in my larder I soak in raisins, dates, dried figs, cherries etc in old monk rum and store it in airtight container this makes the dried fruits very aromatic .  These can be used for making filling in tarts, chocolates, making  fruit  cakes and much more)
50gms unsalted butter/margarine
1 egg beaten
For the Cross
4 table spoons all purpose flour.
1 table spoon powder sugar
3-4 table spoon water
For the Glaze
2 table spoons sugar
2 tablespoons water
Egg wash
1 egg
1 pinch salt
1pinch sugar

Let’s start with making the spice blend take cinnamon, start aniseed, cardamom, cloves &  nutmeg.

Roast lightly all the spices and blend it finely in a coffee blender.

For the Bread stir together sugar, milk, water and yeast cover and keep it in a warm place for 15 minutes make sure that the dried yeast has been dissolved completely in water and milk mixture.

In a large mixing bowl take sieved flour, salt, spice blend sultanas and mixed fruit peel.

Make a well in the centre mix together the yeast mixture with flour , a egg and melted butter/ margarine .

Knead the dough to make sticky dough.

Now knead the dough on a clean surface until the dough is smooth and elastic.  This should take at least 5-6 mins.

Place the dough in a clean bowl.

Cover with a damp kitchen towel.  Let the dough rise in a warm place for 45-60 mins until the dough doubles in size alternatively you can also make the dough at night and keep it over night in the refrigerator for proving

Once the dough is doubled in size .

Now punch down the risen dough to its original size.

Divide and shape thedough into 12 round buns.

Place the buns in a greased baking sheet.
Cover it again with a dish towel and reproof the dough for 35-40 mins until its double in volume.
Preheat the oven at 175 degrees C.

While the buns are rising , the piping dough can be made.  Mix flour, sugar and water together and make a smooth paste.

Put this is disposable piping bag with scissors cut the small tip of the piping bag.

Once the dough is risen to double its size apply egg wash.

Pipe a cross on the dough with a help of piping bag.

Bake the dough in the preheated oven for 15 mins or till its get a nice golden brown color.

As the dough is being baked mix together sugar and water and boil together, just until the sugar melts and gets a sticky quality

As soon as the buns are out of the oven with help of a pastry brush apply the sticky glaze on the hot cross buns.

Usually I like the buns toasted crisp with butter.

Foccasia/Pizza Bread

I recently ordered for Pizza from a popular Pizza chain and was appalled to know that a 12inch pizza would easily set you back by 500-600 bucks, now that’s big money.  Therefore this week thought of blogging about. The recipe for this dough I happen to get from a visiting Italian chef, this is a thin crust fresh dough pizza. And the same dough can also be used to make Foccasia which is a traditional flat bread of Italy.  Try this recipe it’s amazing to see the crusty bread and the aroma of the sauce and cheese bubbling away in the oven and for a fraction of the prize which you spend on a ready made pizza.

 This is Focaccia a very popular flat oven baked Italian bread it is seasoned with sea salt ,olive oil and herbs.


For the dough
500 gms Flour refined
10gms dry yeast
250ml water
50ml extra virgin olive oil
5gms salt
pinch of sugar

For the sauce
100gms Tomato Puree (Canned)
20gms chopped galic
10gms chopped celery

10gms fresh basil

 I have used a mix of Processed cheese and Mozzarella  because just using mozzarella can be quiet tasteless so prefer using both processed for its taste factor and Mozzarella for its stringiness.
In a bowl mix together all the ingredients for the bread that is flour, oil, water,salt ,sugar.

Knead the dough for 10mins till the dough is smooth and elastic.
Form in to a nice round ball apply some oil in bowl and cling film it.  The next process is proving the dough i prefer to keep it over night in a refrigerator.
In the morning it will double in size.
Punch the dough and flatten it out now divide the dough for the pizza you can take around 100gms of dough. and the rest can be made in a foccasia.

Now for the sauce heat oil in a sauce pan add chopped garlic and celery. next add the tomato puree and chopped basil. add salt and sugar to taste.
Strain the sauce in a soup strainer.
Now roll the dough evenly into a 10inch diameter and around 1inch thickness.

With the help of a spoon evenly coat the surface with the sauce.

Now cover it with both the cheeses and sprinkle some chopped basil over it.
Lightly pour some extra virgin olive oil over the pizza.
Bake in a preheated over at 200 degrees till you see the cheese is bubbling away

For the foccasia roll the dough into a rectangle, prick the dough with a knife add some sliced onion, some pizza sauce and some chopped onions and bake in a preheated oven at 200 degrees for 15mins.

Winters have always been my favourite season.  I know I am talking about the almost non-existent winters of my dear city Mumbai, but still you have to admit it though it does not get very chilly around here it’s by far the most pleasant time of the year. Everyone around just seems to be lot more happier and cheerful .  I wonder  if it's  the irreplicable sparkle of Christmas that is just around  the corner or a visit to the local market that is flooded with vibrant winter veggies that makes me look forward to these wonderful holiday season.
I have dedicated this entire page for the wonderful winter treats that I am planning to make this season.  Join me in this quest of trying out traditional and contemporary  recipes with my own little twist .
Winter Veggie soup accompanied with Potato & Cheese biscuits  

When it comes to winter the first thought that comes to my mind is comfort food, now What could me more comforting than a nice bowl of hot soup.  This golden winter veggie soup promises to be just the right dish to be served in cold winter evening  with my absolutely light and flaky potato and cheese biscuits’.
Ingredients for the soup

250 gms Red Pumpkin
200 gms  sweet potatoes
2 medium sized onions
2-3 cloves of garlic
2-3 fresh Red chillies.
600 ml of stock (veggie or chicken any would do)
200 ml of butter milk
Few sprigs of basil
Sea salt


Keep your oven for preheating at 180 degrees

Slice the pumpkin, roughly cut the sweet potatoes and onions

Put all this prepared veggies in a roasting tray  sprinkle some sea salt and olive oil.

Roast this veggies for 25 mins .  Blitz this mixture in the mixer.

In a sauce pan blend together the mixture and stock and give it a boil. Finish it with butter milk.

The pumpkin and sweet potatoes both will be on a sweeter side therefore the  addition of  butter milk t gives the soup its balance of acidity

Ingredients for Potato and Cheese biscuit
1 ½ cup of refined flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
100 gms chilled butter
1 cup mashed potatoes
100gms cheddar cheese or even your regular processed cheese will do.
2 tbls cheese spread
1 tsp garlic powder
½ cup butter milk
Sprigs of sage.


In a bowl take some mashed potatoes, you may either go the traditional way of boiling and mashing potatoes or you can take a short cut just crumble some potato smileys which is easily available in any supermarket.

In that potato mixture add 2 table spoons of cheese spread, butter milk and garlic powder whisk it well.

In another bowl take the flour , baking powder and baking soda.  Add chilled butter make sure you mix the butter and flour with the tip of your finger.  The mixture sure resemble bread crumbs.

Now add the potato mixture and grated cheese in the flour and form in to a rough dough.

Don’t over work the dough just let  the ingredients form together.  As the lesser you work the dough you will get light and flakier biscuits’.

Flatten the dough with your hands to 1 inch thickness.

You can use a cookie cutter to get the round biscuit shape .

Keep this biscuits’ in a baking tray , Top the biscuits’ up with some sage and brush it some butter milk.

Bake this biscuits in a preheated oven  at 180 degrees  for 20-25 mins till it get a nice golden colour.