March 24th 2012
I walked into the St. John yesterday, just as the first batch of Hot Cross Buns came out of the oven. Terry the pastry chef glazed them while they were hot and the staff all queued up for a taste test – I got one too!
These are without a doubt, the best Hot Cross Buns I have ever had. They take several days to make and you can taste individual flavours of cinnamon and ginger. The sultanas are soft and I particularly liked the little pieces of candied fruit. The dough is made of wholemeal flour and the bun itself is quite substantial. The Hot Cross Buns are great just as they are or toasted with butter.
These are not cheap, but once you’ve eaten one you’ll never want a supermarket bun again! It’s two weeks until Easter and the St. John will be baking Hot Cross Buns right up until Good Friday.
The St. John is at 26 St. John Street, EC1M 4AY – Google Map
Here are some home made recipes from Alice Cooke, Dan Lepard, Delia Smith, Michael Gilligan and Nigella Lawson they probably won’t match the St. John, but they’ll be a lot more wholesome than the chemical offerings from supermarkets.
We make our dough in two parts. First we create a liquidy dough which we ferment to improve the flavour, and we finish it off about seven hours later with more flour, butter, and eggs. Then we mix that until it’s firm, adding raisins macerated in rum, orange juice, candied stem ginger and syrup from the stem ginger.