Because of the diverse nature of the many different restaurants and chefs Brian Henry has worked under he is highly proficient at a wide range of cuisines.

Brian’s cooking is seasonal, inventive and smart, but in no way unapproachable or fussy. When he is coaxed out of the kitchen and starts talking about food, his passion and knowledge are instantly recognizable.

"Chef Brian Henry cooked a series of delicious appetizers for us as we sat around a table in the kitchen". Thanks

Tony Aspler, Wine writer

“Chef Brian Henry puts one hundred percent of his energy into going all the way.”

Birgit Moenke, Editor Stir Media Read More Reviews

Gastronomically yours,

Breaking (Bad) Bread

I’ve been told that you should not discuss religion or politics over dinner because it can lead to indigestion.  With today being the end of  Lent it may be hard to follow this rule because whatever your beliefs are there is a good chance you may enjoy food this weekend whose origins lie deeply within both of these topics. One of the most curios foods that I dare deliberate in this muse while skirting serious discord is bread.

The hot cross bun has been around for centuries but its story is full of political motives, legends and superstitions; a mighty feat for this little doughy, sticky- sweet, spiced yeast roll that is flecked with pieces of dried fruit and marked on top with a crucifix.

So great is the hot cross bun that even Queen Elizabeth I declared that the buns are sold strictly at Christmas, funerals and on Good Friday. Many of these baked goodies would find themselves hung in kitchens to protect the kitchen from the evils of baking of bad bread, burning bread and the formation of mold on your bread for a year at which time the bun would be replaced with a fresh one. Some claim that these buns will not go bad and can be hung for a year and still enjoyed.

Try the following multi-stage recipe for Hot Cross Buns which are fun to make with any little ones you have running around the house this holiday weekend.

 

Hot Cross Buns

Ingredients:

2/3 cup warm water

1 packet of dried yeast

3 tbsp, granulated sugar

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

4 tbsp. unsalted butter

1/3 cup milk

1 large egg

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. Humble Pie spice blend

Zest of one orange

1/2 cup currants

Milk for brushing

Golden syrup

¾ cup icing sugar, sifted

1 Tbsp. milk, plus extra if needed

 

Method:

 

In a small bowl, stir together the warm water, yeast, sugar and 1/2 cup of the flour. Set aside for 15 minutes. Heat the butter and milk together in the microwave until the butter has just melted; let it cool to room temperature before whisking in one egg.  

 

In a large mixing bowl, combine the remaining flour, salt, spices, orange zest and currants. Pour the yeast and the milk mixtures over top of the dry ingredients. Stir everything together until it starts to form a dough ball. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead until smooth.

 Place the dough in an oiled mixing bowl and cover the dough with plastic wrap and set aside to let it rise to double in size.

 Punch down the risen dough and divide it into 12 even sized pieces. Roll dough into balls, they should be about golf ball size. Place rolled balls onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Using a sharp knife cut a cross in the top of each bun. Leave buns to rise for until doubled in size.

 Meanwhile make the icing to pipe in the cross with by stirring together the icing sugar and milk until it forms a thick pliable mixture that can be easily piped.   (add a few more drops of milk, if needed). Pour this into a small piping bag and pipe crosses on top of each bun, letting the icing set for an hour before serving.

 Brush the risen buns all over with a little milk and bake them in a preheated oven at 350°F for 20 minutes and they are a nice golden brown. After they are out of the oven to cool, brush them with golden syrup and then pipe the icing into the cross.

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