Easter may be over but does that really mean it’s the end of Hot Cross Bun indulging? I say no. Really when you break it down a Hot Cross Bun is just a fruit bun with an embellishment on the top. Remove the religious significance, ignore social judgement and enjoy that bun year long. Better yet, make your own!
Over the long Easter weekend I attended an Easter baking class held by my favourite bakery in London; Bread Ahead! I would highly recommend Bread Ahead classes and will definitely be back for another one soon. I spent three blissful hours baking Hot Cross Buns and Ma’amoul. You may be wondering what Ma’amoul is because I certainly was at the time. Ma’amoul is a delicious traditional Middle Eastern dessert made from semolina. It’s stuffed full of dates, pistachios or walnuts and is incredibly morrish. As I’ve already shared my Hot Cross Bun recipe previously I shall share the Ma’amoul recipe here. Make sure you allow enough time for the mixture to rest or you’ll end up with a big pile of crumbles rather than biscuits.
- 1 kg fine semolina
- 300 g butter, softened or ghee melted
- 108g vegetable oil
- 140g all purpose flour
- 4.2g vanilla
- 3g baking powder
- 12g yeast
- 4g sugar
- 68g of water
- 68g orange blossom water (can be replaced with water or milk)
- 68g of rosewater (can be replaced with water or milk)
Making the dough
- In a bowl place the semolina and add the butter/ghee and oil to it. Rub the butter and oil into the semolina until they are completely absorbed by it. The semolina will resemble wet sand. Cover and leave overnight. This will allow the semolina granules to swell and soften.
- The next day add the flour, vanilla and baking powder. Dissolve the yeast in the water with the sugar and wait for it to foam and bubble Add it to the semolina mix and add the orange blossom and rosewater.
- Mix gently, you take a lump of dough and then crumble it between your fingers and then repeat.
- At first you will get clumps then the dough will come together. You are not aiming for a smooth dough ball. Just for a dough that comes together and is homogenous. Do not mix longer since this will develop the gluten and cause the Ma’amoul to be tough.
- Cover and allow to rest for one hour.
You can use ground dates that are sold as a paste or you can use regular dates that you pit and knead with some butter or olive oil. If your dates are on the dry side, soak them with some hot water for 30 minutes then drain them.
- 1 kg pitted dates/date paste
- 9g of cinnamon
- 2g of cardamom
Enjoy and let me know how they turn out.