52 Cookbooks #15: Hot cross buns

I'm staying with Delia again this week and have taken this recipe from her Complete Cookery Course, which is probably the oldest cookbook I have and has been used over many years as a reference (cook)book to check against other recipes and to answer the question "what does Delia say?"

This edition was published in 1984 - I told you it was old - and somewhere along the way I've lost the cover; the book's also a bit crinkled from getting wet at some point but otherwise it still works!

It is quite dated though, which is now part of its charm... For example the next recipe is 'pizza' nothing unusual about that but each time pizza is in quotes, I guess in the early eighties pizza wasn't quite so common place!

The introduction to the Hot Cross bun recipe is also amusing, it says these taste better and are far cheaper than any you can buy in the shop. She's right on the taste but I'm not sure on the price as at this time of year supermarkets have these in their deals and you can get many hot cross buns for not that much money. 

The other point of difference is the cross - Delia says to cut a cross with a sharp knife or adds almost as an afterthought that you can "add more substantial crosses" by using shortcrust pastry. I know I could make a flour and water paste too but I decided to go with Delia's sharp knife cross.

Ready to go into the oven

These smelt good as they baked. And they browned nicely too. Now one thing I will give Delia is she knows how to get her buns sticky...

I commend Delia on her sticky buns!

She says to melt water and granulated sugar while they cook and to brush the tops of the buns as soon as they come out of the oven.  Well I decided to shortcut this and use the microwave, which worked (phew) and this gave the buns a lovely sticky finish. 

The verdict:

  • The crosses weren't as defined as usual hot cross buns and MOH immediately asked "where's the cross?"
  • They taste fab, way better than shop bought buns - also if you squished them up they wouldn't do that stay in a mushed up ball that the supermarket ones would. 
  • I'd make them again but add more substantial crosses. 
  • I'd make them again without the crosses and call them sticky buns or tea cakes...
  • And they can't be that bad as they seem to be evaporating!

I'm linking up with

Mary at Keynko

so pop over and see what everyone else has been cooking this week.