Sept Holiday Buns
This one is a suggestion for the next book, as they’re delicious, historical, and really cool looking. I wanted to find a Westerosi holiday that they could feasibly be baked for, but shockingly, GRRM only lists one holiday: Maidens Day.
That didn’t seem to fit my vision, so if he should read this, I’d suggest not only including these buns, but also a holiday for The Seven. King’s Landing needs all the celebration it can get!
The buns are fluffy, light, and quite rich, especially given the relatively small amount of butter in the recipe. They make a delightful breakfast bun, and are at their very best when still warm from the oven. The combined icing and currants sweeten the deal, while the density of the bun makes it a great way to start one’s day, or celebrate your fave deities.
Traditional Hot Cross Buns
Good Friday Buns: Rub a quarter of a pound of butter into two pounds of flour. Add a pinch of salt; then mix a wine-glassful of fresh, thick yeast with a pint and a half of warmed milk; and stir these into the flour til it forms a light batter. Put the batter in a warm place to rise. When sufficiently risen, work into it half a pound of sugar, half a pound of currants, half a nutmeg, grated, and a quarter of an ounce of powddered mace. Knead these well into the dough, make it up into buns, and place them on buttered baking-tins. Make a cross on them with the black of a knife, brush a little clarified butter over the top, and let them stand a quarter of an hour before the fire. Bake in a good oven. When bread is made at home, hot cross buns may be made by mixing the currants, &c. with bread dough after it was risen. Time, one hour to let the dough rise; twenty minutes to bake. Sufficient for two dozen buns. Probable cost, 1s. 6d. for this quality.” –Cassell’s Dictionary of Cookery with Numerous Illustrations, 1875
Cook’s Notes: I halved the original recipe in order to have a smaller amount of dough to work with. Because of the difference between old style yeast and modern dry yeast, I added a bit more milk to the halved quantity from above, such that the dough really did make a sort of batter. Makes 12 buns.
- half stick of butter
- 3 3/4 cups flour
- pinch of salt
- 1 Tbs. dry yeast
- 2 cups warmed milk
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cup currants
- 1 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 3/4 tsp. ground mace
- melted butter (clarified optional)
Rub the butter into the flour and add a pinch of salt. Into 1 cup of warmed milk, add the yeast and a pinch of the sugar. Allow this to sit until the yeast has foamed. Stir both cups of milk into the flour mixture, stirring to fully incorporate. Put the batter in a warm place to rise for about 30 minutes.
After it has risen, work into it the sugar, currants, nutmeg, grated, and mace. Knead these well into the dough, make it up into 12 buns, and place them on a buttered baking sheet.
Brush a little melted butter over the top, and let them rise another 30 minutes. Bake for around 15-20 minutes at 350.
Time:10 minutes prep, one hour to let the dough rise, twenty minutes to bake.
- 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
- just enough milk to make a thick icing
Wait for the buns to mostly cool, or the icing will run right off them because of the heat. Drizzle icing into 7 points. The easiest method I found for this was to make a sort of narrow Y shape, then add two more points to either side.