Giselle has always been a bit on the difficult side to feed, during her baby and toddler years she was incredibly picky, she had a very small selection of foods that I could almost always say she'd eat if it was presented to her, everything else was hit or miss, she could try something this minute and love it, check back 10 minutes later and she would no longer want anything to do with it. Now that she's almost 8, it still isn't always easy, but meal times have become less challenging and at times, even fun, especially when we bake or cook together. This week we're on that much-awaited easter break from school and around this time a couple of years ago, hot cross buns happened to have caught her attention and she's been a fan ever since. Giselle, and not Easter, is the reason for these buns because before baking them myself, I never did enjoy eating them, the shop bought versions I've had in the past have always been so uninspired, bland and dry. G was sceptical when I told her that I wanted to add sweet potatoes, she asked wether the regular ones had it in too, she she gave me the scrunchy face of uncertainty but promised me that she would try them as long as we made normal/plain ones just in case she didn't like these, so that is what we did. The sweet potatoes adds a subtle flavour and sweetness whilst making the dough extra tender and soft. We glazed ours with strawberry conserve while they were hot out the oven.....the verdict......she loved them, so it was a win win for her. Check out the recipe down below, we hope you enjoy them to.
Kay & GiGi xxx
sweet potato hot cross buns
280 grams mashed sweet potato
590 - 730 grams of 50/50 blend of strong bread flour & plain white flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
75grams golden caster sugar
2 1/4 tsp dried yeast
75 grams unsalted butter softened
2 eggs lightly beaten
1 egg yolk lightly beaten
250 mls warm whole milk
75 grams dried cherries
75 grams dried blueberries
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp almond extract
a few scrapings of nutmeg
For the signature crosses -
80 grams plain flour
80 grams water
1. combine warm milk and yeast in a medium bowl and mix until the yeast dissolves
2. add the butter, mashed sweet potato, smaller amount of flour blend, sugar, vanilla extract, almond extract, nutmeg and salt.
3. combine with a wooden spoon or stand/hand mixer, adding more of the remaining flour as needed.
4. knead (really put your back into it) the dough until it is shiny and smooth and no longer sticks to the bowl or your hands, this should take about 10 to 15 minutes. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and leave to rise for 1 - 3 hours
5. place the dough onto a lightly floured surface, gently pull it apart and scatter the dried blueberries and cherries on top. Knead the dough until the fruits are evenly distributed throughout. Return the dough to the bowl, cover and allow to prove for another hour.
6. knead your dough again, folding the edges into the middle, the aim is to knock all the air out. Roll into a log or a ball and divide the dough into 14 equally sized pieces.
7. Roll them into balls and place them onto parchment lined baking sheets, being sure that they are close together. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and allow to prove for another hour or until they’ve doubled in size.
8. Preheat the oven to 200C. To create the crosses for your buns, mix together the flour and water to make a paste/dough. transfer to a disposable piping bag, snip the end off and pipe the crosses onto the buns. Bake for 20 minutes or until lovely and golden. You can glaze your buns if you want or leave them plain, we used strawberry conserve to glaze ours hot out the oven.