Carol Taylor’s Green Kitchen…April 5th 2023…Easter Edition…#Hotcrossbuns, #Simnelcake…

Welcome to April’s Green Kitchen the special Easter Edition…the date of Easter changes every year and this year Easter Sunday is April 9th…This is based on the Gregorian calendar. .. I always take my father’s birthday on March 27th if Easter is early and if it is late then it has fallen on my daughter’s birthday 22nd of April this year it is between the two…

I have fond childhood memories of Easter as we always got new outfits and the first time we were allowed to wear them was on Easter Sunday to church…

We always had shiny shoes and gloves…This photo is of me and my two sisters…

Good Friday I remember going to the bakers with my mother and coming home with lovely freshly baked still warm hot cross buns… lunch on Good Friday was always fish plus the shops closed at midday and were not open again until Tuesday after Easter unlike today when shops are open all hours.

Hot Cross Bun Recipe…

Yes, it’s that time of the year when we celebrate Easter with Hot Cross Buns on Good Friday followed by Easter Eggs on Easter Sunday and Simmel Cake on Easter Monday.

Traditional Hot Cross Buns

I have been seeing lots of alternative recipes for Hot Cross Buns...some sound delicious some sound as if they are made just because the baker can…

Most of the recipes from my childhood I don’t want to change… it’s tradition lest we forget…x…

So without further ado here is your recipe for…Traditional Hot Cross Buns...Warm from the oven there is nought better than a Hot Cross Bun buttered with lovely grass-fed butter…


For the dough

  • 450g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 2 x 7g sachets of easy-blend yeast
  • 50g caster sugar …I use natural golden sugar.
  • 150ml warm milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 50g  butter, melted, plus extra for greasing
  • oil, for greasing
  • 1 tsp Himalayan Salt…ordinary salt is ok.

The spices and dried fruit

  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp mixed spice
  • ¼ tsp grated nutmeg
  • 100g currants
  • Optional: Orange or lemon zest.

For  the pastry crosses:

  • 4 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar.

Let’s Bake!

Put the flour, yeast, castor sugar and 1 tsp salt into a large mixing bowl with the spices and dried fruit and mix well. If you want to add a little lemon or orange zest it can be added now. Make a well in the centre and pour in the warm milk, 50ml of warm water, the beaten egg and the melted butter. Mix everything together to form a dough – start with a wooden spoon and finish with your hands. If the dough is too dry, add a little more warm water; if it’s too wet, add more flour.

Knead in the bowl or on a floured surface until the dough becomes smooth and springy. Transfer to a clean, lightly greased bowl and cover loosely with a clean, damp tea towel. Leave in a warm place to rise until roughly doubled in size – this will take about 1 hr depending on how warm the room is.

Tip the risen dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for a few secs, then divide into 12 even portions – I roll my dough into a long sausage shape, then quarter and divide each quarter into 3 pieces. Shape each portion into a smooth round and place on a baking sheet greased with butter, leaving some room between each bun for it to rise.

Use a small, sharp knife to score a cross on the top of each bun, then cover with the damp tea towel again and leave in a warm place to prove for 20 mins until almost doubled in size again. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas

When the buns are ready to bake, mix the plain flour with just enough water to give you a thick paste. Spoon into a piping bag (or into a plastic food bag and snip the corner off) and pipe a white cross into the crosses you cut earlier. Bake for 12-15 mins until the buns are golden and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. While still warm, melt the granulated sugar with 1 tbsp water in a small pan, then brush over the buns.

Tip: I put my mix for the cross in one of those plastic refill sauce bottles as I find I get all sorts of shapes and sizes of the cross if I use a piping bag/greaseproof. clumsy klutz that I am… haha.

Traditional Hot Cross Buns

Hot from the Oven! Yum!

Legend tells us that if sharing a hot cross bun with another is supposed to ensure friendship throughout the coming year, particularly if “Half for you and a half for me, Between us two, shall goodwill be” is said at the time or if hung in the kitchen they are said to protect against fire and all bread will turn out ok this is replaced every year.

And I’m sure there are lots more traditions but I just want the butter to put on my bun.

buttered hot cross bun

Enjoy your buns xx

Learn to love your leftovers…I know I am always banging on about wasted food but there is so much food wasted that it’s a sin and with rising prices and shortages we need to be canny…Today I am looking at the humble cabbage one of my favourite vegetables and one which I always cook too much as we all know it cooks down quite a lot and therein lies my problem-smile-

Leftover cabbage either raw or cooked… as I am British my first choice (hubby) loves bubble and squeak if I hailed from Ireland it would be Colcannon…first roughly chop the cabbage if raw, season it well and fry over medium heat with a knob of butter until it has softened about 6-8 minutes then stir through some mashed potato with 3 sliced spring(green) onions season again to taste and enjoy with your meat or fish…if you are using already cooked cabbage then stir through the hot mash with the onions and enjoy.

Making a stir fry with leftover cabbage is a great way to use up cabbage…thinly slice your cabbage, slice some mushrooms and a carrot fry in a hot wok with a little oil over high heat for about 4 mins add 3 sliced cloves of garlic and grate a thumb-sized piece of ginger and cook for a further 2-3 minutes stir in a splash of soy sauce and sesame oil and enjoy!

Another option is to make coleslaw it goes with many dishes all you need is some cabbage, half a carrot, and half an onion sometimes I chuck in a peeled and sliced apple just mix it with a little mayo and some lime or lemon juice and some black pepper…easy and it’s a good way to use the half an onion/carrot that lurks in your salad drawer…

Simnel Cake…

As you know I love to cook mainly savoury dishes and the occasional dessert but a baker I am not although, in a past life, I have made a wedding cake and numerous novelty birthday cakes for my kids and even took a course in how to ice cakes at one point and make these lovely flooded decorations…pretty ladies and flowers…but that is all in the past…

I am however very pleased with my Simnel cake…Pretty basic with decoration but a traditional Simnel cake is just that…it has 11 marzipan balls that depict the disciples…a layer of marzipan through the centre of the cake and a marzipan top which is fluted around the edges and then the marzipan is toasted…A bit of ribbon and a bow and that’s that…It is now an Easter Staple although I was late making it this year it was Robbie who reminded me…Thank you, Robbie time has just got away with me this year…

Every month I will be looking in depth at popular processed food and why we should avoid it…

Let’s start with bread…I very rarely buy store-made bread but when I do I look for bread that is high in fibre, low sodium and sugar…

Sarah Lee Texas Toast…is none of these and the sodium is off the charts…bearing in mind that per serving is only 100 calories…which is just under one slice why the hell they couldn’t work out the figures per slice is beyond me however 2 slices make a sandwich or a serving of toast as a general rule…by my maths, that’s 380mg sodium…that’s without butter, jams, cheese or meats…

PER SERVING: 100 calories, 1.5 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 190 mg sodium, 20 g carbs (>1 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 3 g protein.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends adults limit sodium intake to less than 2,300 mg per day—that’s equal to about 1 teaspoon of table salt! For children under age 14, recommended limits are even lower.

That is why we need to be wise about what is in any foods we buy and if you can’t read the label(like moi) go home and google it(like moi) before you buy…

Thank you for joining me today I hope you all have a lovely Easter xx

25 thoughts on “Carol Taylor’s Green Kitchen…April 5th 2023…Easter Edition…#Hotcrossbuns, #Simnelcake…

    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      It sounds like your intuition was correct, Liz after having watched a programme on how they determine the ingredient ratios(it) was scary as its a fine art to make it as palatable as they can it is also how they draw the consumer in that also is scary,,,

      Liked by 1 person

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  2. CarolCooks2 Post author

    New shoes we always got but sensible ones… Sigh.. and one particular day I played up and my mother fed up with me took me home and told my father to take me shoe shopping…. He took me(reluctantly)​ asked me what shoes I wanted.. Yes-big smile- I came home with the beautiful red patent shoes my mother wouldn’t let me have… 😂… That was the last time she let my father take me shopping.. He was probably pleased… I had my red shoes so didn’t care.. Hehe​ x


    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      Thank you, Sally it is one of my favourite photos…yes store-bought bread is cheap and nasty and as you say if it keeps that long what is in them…I hope you have a Happy Easter, Sally and can sit out in the sunshine and enjoy your garden Hugs xx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. CarolCooks2 Post author

        Happy Easter, Sally we could do with some rain it’s in short supply here…Yes there is certainly a mixture of weather going on around the world so yes neither of us should complain xx

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Sue Dreamwalker

    What a lovely post and photos.. 🙂 Ditto…. Easter was the time my Great Aunt would buy us all a new dress… Which was often the Only new thing we had all year!, Even if it was freezing out, my sisters and I would have to wear them Easter Sunday to go to Chapel. 🙂 Poker Dots I remember was a theme one year… We all had different colours. in Large embossed felt spots on Frilly skirts.. 🙂 Thank you for triggering that happy memory..
    And wishing your Daughter a Happy Birthday and you all a very Happy Easter Carol ❤ ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      Ahhhh thank you, Sue happy to have triggered your memories… Yes it was often the only new thing we had a year.. I had lovely pink polka dot dress my mother made me and guess who tore it climbing my favourite oak tree- if only girls could have worn trousers then ​it wouldnt have been a problem but oh no girls wore dresses… and played with dollies like my sisters… My mother must have🤔 at me many times-smile-😎

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      1. Sue Dreamwalker

        Lol… Yes….. and new shoes were a prize to get… I remember being given a pair of my elder cousins shoes,… miles too big… I had cotton wool stuffed in the toes… I wore those shoes for what seemed like years… they were horrid round toed heavy duty school shoes… And I was over the moon when the sole of them wore out at last…
        Thinking I would at last get a new pair of shoes… Imagine my horror when Dad got a new sole to glue onto the worn one… I had to wear those shoes till my toes pinched at the ends lol… 🙂
        Children today do not know they are born.. LOL…. 🙂 in Making do and mending.. 🙂
        One thing Carol… It didn’t do us any harm… and it taught us the value of things in life… 🙂 ❤ Much love my friend xx

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Dorothy's New Vintage Kitchen

    Lovely post Carol! I remember my mom’s hot cross buns, but she didn’t make them every year, and not at all when she got older.
    The sodium in processed foods is outrageous. I rarely buy anything processed, but cringe when I see how much sodium is in low-sodium soy sauce! Cheese too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      I know we need salt but yes the amount in most processed foods add up over a day and I daren’t think what it is over even a week if a diet is processed food heavy …Happy Easter Dorothy 🙂 x

      Liked by 1 person


    Carol, I enjoyed reading about your Easter traditions. I have never heard of the Simnel Cake. Boy does it sound good. Since Dom started with his cardiac problems, I have been faithfully reading the sodium content in packaged food and it is a real eye opener.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. CarolCooks2 Post author

      It really is an eye-opener, Bernadette processed food is a killer much of the time. I’m happy you enjoyed our Easter traditions we Brits are sticklers for our traditions -smile-


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