Catherine Bedelia Bakes Hot Cross Buns (Real Ones!)

One of Hannah’s favorite library books right now is “Amelia Bedelia.” As you may recall, Amelia Bedelia is a silly person who can’t seem to follow instructions in spite of her best efforts. You know, like when the list says “dress the chicken” she puts overalls and socks on it. That kind of humor really appeals to Hannah, although I’m not sure she really gets it because she thinks the chicken section is funny because the chicken has no head. “Yookit! Dat chicken got no head and green socks! It’s SOOOO FUNNY!!!!!”

Anyway, if you’ve read my blog for long you know that when it comes to cookery, I am also unable to follow directions, and I have to ask stupid questions to even get started. I have fun though, and I am learning, so it’s all good.

When I saw Heather L‘s post about making hot cross buns, I had to try them even though the recipe looked complicated. I emailed Heather with all sorts of dumb questions (what’s that adage, “There are no dumb questions, only small actors?”) such as “can I substitute cooked oatmeal for the mashed potatoes?” Heather is kind and gracious, so she responded by even telling me WHY the mashed potatoes were necessary and oatmeal would ruin everything. Good thing I asked.
After all that, I still used sweet potatoes instead of regular, because I had the sweet potatoes and didn’t have regular potatoes. It still worked. The dough rose like nobody’s business. I also used dried cranberries instead of currants soaked in Earl Grey, but Heather said I could. Also I couldn’t find dried peel anywhere (OK, technically I only looked at Kroger), so I used the zest of two oranges. Next time I will use the zest of four oranges, because it needed more citrus.

I juiced the oranges after zesting them for our special Easter breakfast tomorrow. So Josh and I will each get a teeny tiny shot glass full of fresh-squeezed orange juice, which will be awesome.
I decided after it was too late that I took the first batch out of the oven too soon. you can barely see the crosses because I didn’t let the outsides get brown enough.
“I’ll eat this one, since it’s burned,” said Josh about the above pictured bun.
“NOOOOOOO!” said I, “it’s the only perfect one!!!!!”

We’re taking some of the buns to my in-laws for Easter dinner tomorrow, along with one of our boxes of free chocolates. We’ll enjoy the rest of the buns ourselves!

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