Here in The Bahamas, we have a tradition of eating Hot Cross Buns and fried fish on Good Friday. It does not matter what denomination of faith you are, this is what you eat.
The tradition begins by going down by to the dock to buy fresh fish during Holy Week.
The great thing about the Bahamas is we have a bountiful resource of fish. We can choose from Grouper, Snapper, Crawfish, Goggle Eye, Turbot, Jackfish and many more.
My personal favourite for frying is the Snapper.
Once you've gotten your fish, you need to get your Hot Cross Buns.
For a few years, I either bought my buns from the local bakeries or was lucky enough to get some from my Aunt who bakes her own.
I was always intimidated by Hot Cross buns. I assumed that they were difficult to make. It wasn't until a few years ago when my husband suggested that I make them myself, I gave them a try. They were not good.
After that, every year I would try a new recipe or modify an existing one. None of them were satisfying, just ok. Then, in 2010 our local newspaper featured a recipe for Hot Cross Buns from a local chef. I tried it, and not only was it easy, but it was the best Hot Cross Buns I've ever had.
This recipe makes a lot of buns, so prepare to share.
HOT CROSS BUNS by chef Bernard Bodie
makes about 2 dozen
2 cups water
2 pounds all purpose flour
1 oz. instant yeast
8 oz. sugar
8 oz. shortening
1 Tbls. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. nutmeg
2 tsp. allspice
2 1/2 tsp. molasses
1 pound raisins (use discretion)
1 Cup water
2 1/2 Cups granulated sugar
1 pound powdered sugar
1/4 Cup water
1 tsp vanilla
BUNS: In large mixing bowl for electric mixer, pour water.Then add all ingredients. (Scary right, but trust me it'll be fine). Mix for 10 mins. on low speed, then 10 minutes on medium speed. After ingredients are well mixed, let rest in bowl for another 10 minutes.
Next weight each piece to 3.5 ounces and place in pan with 1/4 inch space between them.
Let rise to the size you wish, then bake for 45 mins. in a preheated oven at 350 degrees.
As soon as the buns come out of the oven, glaze with simple syrup mixture. Allow buns to cool before piping cross onto buns.
At Home With Mrs. M
At Home With Mrs. M