Today is the last day of school for the kids, they now have a week off to enjoy Pasqua (Easter) and shovel in as much chocolate as possible! If you think about it, what teacher in their right mind would want to turn up to teach a class of 20 plus kids on a sugar high!?
‘Buona Pasqua’ and ‘Aguri’ were shouted from kids and parents alike at school pickup today, I even got a few hugs and kisses from mums which made me stop and realise, yes it really is Easter! I have seen the beautiful Italian Easter eggs in the shops and made a mental note to buy some but up until today I’d just put Pasqua off.
You’ll be happy to know I have spent the morning purchasing Easter eggs for the boys (and yes Pam, I did remember to buy some from you!) and coming up with a Sunday Easter lunch menu. Of course it is not set yet but one thing I do know, lamb will be involved (not quite sure how it will be cooked) and potatoes…which then makes me think I should make a Spring salad of grilled asparagus, fava beans and garden picked peas tossed with some burrata, parsley, lemon and lots of cracked pepper. I shouldn’t write when I am hungry!
I will also be making hot cross buns as I try to make them every year. I thought I’d share my recipe just incase anyone wants to give it a go. I adapted this recipe about 5-6 years ago when we were living in Virginia (USA). I’d completely forgotten to make the dough the night before and so I needed a recipe that would work in half a day. It worked so well that I have used this same recipe ever since. It will be interesting trying it here as I have no measuring utensils, they don’t sell dried mixed fruit and my oven won’t be able to cook a whole batch in one go (and what’s the bet I burn the first batch).
If in fact I manage to deliver the goods on Good Friday I am sure to post a picture or two, but in the mean time here is a throw back to when Alex was only three and in real need of a hot cross bun…
And another gem a few Easters back when Max didn’t really want to share with his baby brother…
With friends coming over for Sunday lunch and an egg hunt in the works I’ll be interested to see how this year goes, after all we cannot miss the blowing up of the cart by the Duomo, it’s a Firenze Pasqua must!
Buon Pasqua everyone and remember dark chocolate is good for you xx
HOT CROSS BUNS (LEXINGTON 2008)
1 cup milk- hot
2TB yeast (a lot I know)
1/2 cup sugar (castor)
2 tsp salt
1/3 cup melted butter- cooled
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1tsp all spice
1/2 tsp nutmeg
5 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/3 cup mixed dried fruit
1 egg white
In large bowl (something that will hold heat like stainless steel) put milk and sprinkle yeast. stir to combine and leave for 5 minutes.
In small bowl put sugar, salt, cinnamon,nutmeg, allspice together and then stir into milk.
Continue stirring and add butter and eggs, one at a time.
While still stirring gradually add flour stirring all the while in the same direction.
Once flour is all added kneed for 5 minutes on your bench, it will be a little tacky but try not to add extra flour.
Place back into a well greased bowl, cover with glad wrap and leave for 45 minutes to rest.
Once rested knock back and add fruit, kneed for 3-4 minutes till well combined and elastic.
Place back into greased bowl and put in a warm place to prove. Let double in size (about 11/2 hours)
Knock back, and proceed to cut into 24 balls. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and roll dough into balls placing them on the parchment paper 1/2 inch apart.
Once you have all the balls rolled, cover tray with glad wrap and put in a warm, non draughty place until they have doubled in size.
Slash the tops of buns with sharp knife in an ‘x’ pattern, wipe with egg whites and then bake in a pre heated oven on 400 (200c) for 10 minutes then turn the temp back to 350 (180c) for 15 minutes.
Remove from oven and place on cooling rack then put on your x glaze which is a mixture of 1 1/3 cup icing sugar, 1/2 tsp lemon juice and 2-3 Tb milk. stir until a glossy paste and spoon on. Leave to set and then eat and enjoy!