Goat Cheese and Fig Jam Buns with Balsamic Reduction

The condiment section of my fridge sometimes gets out of control.  Why do we have five different kinds of mustard?  (Ok, that’s all me, I love mustard.)  Or do we really need eight different types of jams/jellies/curds?  Although you can certainly use up your jams and jellies on toast, I like taking the dough that I use for cinnamon rolls and filling it with different flavors and using up sweet condiments at the same time.  This dough is quite easy to work with and can be doubled if you have a large crowd to feed.  You can also make the buns up to a certain point in the evening, and then refrigerate and bake off in the morning.  Perfect for all those holidays coming up, especially if you have houseguests.

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Hot Cross Buns

Buns and small cakes have long been tied to holidays and religious festivals.  According to The Oxford Companion to Food, the Egyptians honored the goddess of the moon with tiny round cakes and the Saxons celebrated Eostre, the goddess of light, (from whom Easter gets its name) by eating buns marked with a cross.  In England, eating hot cross buns on Good Friday became popular in Tudor times.  It was thought that bread baked on Good Friday would never go bad, and that hanging up a cross bun would protect one from bad luck.  Often served hot by street vendors, the little buns decorated with the shape of a cross were eventually called “Hot Cross Buns”.

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