Easter Traditions

Happy Easter!!

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I am not going to lie, I am not a huge fan of Easter. Growing up, I never believed in the Easter Bunny. I thought it was a grown man in a bunny suit who’d break into our house to hide Ganong chocolates and Disney VHSs behind the couch. Fear of this man in the bunny suit would keep me up the night before Easter.

For some reason, my child brain could fathom the idea of a fairy that came through my window to take my teeth. A giant rabbit? No way. Had to be a weirdo in a costume.

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When I was a kid, I would also sit down and eat a solid chocolate bunny until my stomach hurt. Actually, I could probably do that as an adult still. Instead, this Easter I forewent the chocolate for The Pioneer Woman’s Hot Cross Buns.

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I am new to the world of yeast baking. But after a kindasorta successful go at her cinnamon rolls, I figured these buns would be excellent for my next yeasty challenge.

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To be on the safe side, I proofed the yeast first in 1/4 cup warm water with 1 tsp sugar. For the record this is what active yeast looks like. I never understood what level of “bubbling” had to take place. Or what “dissolved” yeast looks like. Do you sprinkle it on the top or stir it in? How long should it take?

No one says these things in their recipes. I am convinced there is some yeasty secret society out there working at keeping the secrets of yeast from getting out. So far in my experience, yeast has proven to be a very temperamental ingredient.

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Case and point: these buns had a hard time rising. Despite the warm oven I put them in to rise. I’m pretty sure when I put the proofed and bubbly yeast into the hot milk mixture, I killed some of it.

Can that happen? Google can’t tell me. I think the yeasty society is hiding it from me.

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I ended up with dense, albeit super tasty buns. Lots of cinnamon and sugar with just enough raisins.

Tomorrow I am making a 7lb ham. Even though I can’t technically lift 7lbs right now because of my injured arm. At least it doesn’t include yeast. And I now know better than to think the Easter bunny is a creepy dude in a costume.

But it makes me wonder, why isn’t rabbit pie a traditional Easter dish?

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Posted on April 24, 2011, in Baking, Recipes. Bookmark the permalink. 18 Comments.

  1. I’ve never used active yeast but I think you can kill it if you put it in something that is too hot. Not sure if the warm oven would help either. I tend to leave my dough near a radiator if one is on or just leave it covered for about an hour during the summer. I always cheat and use the dried yeast anyway. Works every time for me.

  2. The Teenage Taste

    Believe it or not, I’ve never had Hot Cross Buns! They look so good, I might just have to give them a try…

  3. Could be 2 things with the yeast. The milk was too hot or if you used tap water and it was chlorinated, that could kill the yeast.

    They look good, though!

  4. The idiot proof way I’ve found to rise dough is to put a measuring cup of water in the microwave for about two minutes until it’s boiling. Then put the dough in there to rise, covered with a damp, warm towel. The microwave is a closed environment, and boiling the water in there makes the air nice and damp for the yeast to thrivee!

  5. So it is a secret society, is it?! That makes sense. That explains why a generally rational, reasonably competent cook such as myself is cripplingly afraid of this ingredient. Conspiracy!

    But your buns are lovely :) Happy Easter!

  6. girl i never cook with yeast b/c of all the things that can go wrong and i just dont have the patience/time/energy to waste on recipe flops ….so…no yeast.

    But the buns LOOK awesome!

  7. The temperature of the water is crucial…too hot, the yeast dies, too cold it won’t feed. Creepy stuff that yeast…kind of like Easter Bunnies.

  8. Those seriously look delicious. I was never a fan of Easter either and I can still and did the other day eat an entire pound of chocolate bunnies. No shame.

  9. Easter pie LOL
    I’ve always liked Easter…just because I think that Easter has the best candy :-P

    I’ve seen those cross buns floating around the blog world – they look delicious!

    Good luck with the ham!

  10. Easter wasn’t my favorite as well :)
    You’ll get familiar with yeast soon, don’t worry. Just remember, not to cold, not to warm water/milk, and a bit of sugar, and everything’s fine!

  11. I made hot cross buns this weekend too, although I used a different recipe. I had to proof my yeast twice cuz the first time didn’t work. For me, it was because the milk was not warm enough. Some people have suggested a thermometer, but that just seems too high maintenance for me.

  12. I saw hot cross buns in the store yesterday and was so tempted to get them. I guess it is an Easter thing, and never realized it. Yum!

  13. I tend to avoid yeast whenever possible. I used it when I ate gluten and had a mix of successes and failures. It is just too tempermental for me. I surely don’t want to try working with yeast and gluten free flours! Too much potential for disaster!

  14. i use yeast quite often but my method is simply: open packet, add to warm water, cross fingers it works. somehow, it always seems to do the trick!

    happy belated easter!!!

  15. I’m so with you about the yeast- why doesn’t anyone reveal their secrets? :) Hope you had a great Easter!

  16. I’ve never had hot cross buns, but they look delicious!!!

  17. when my friend said she took her son to see the easter bunny i told her she was ridiculous. who wants to put a child through such a creepy experience?! i kill yeast all the time. i have had zero successful attempts at making something that has to rise with yeast. i am broken. those dense rolls look good though, who cares if they didn’t rise! haha, that last part about not being able to lift the 7 lb ham cracked me up. loveyou.

  18. I bake bread and use regualar rise yeast. Fast rise makes me think that it is some super mutant yeast. But the trick is that the water you disolve the yeast in needs to be just over body temberature. 40-43 degrees celsius works well for me. The water should feel pleasant and warm but not hot!

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