Thursday, April 5, 2007

One a penny, two a penny...

... hot cross buns.

I was searching for a variation of my hot cross bun recipe. I have one I like for the bread machine, but I don't have a bread machine anymore so I was just checking to see if I had the same recipe written for mixers so I wouldn't have to do the adaptation myself.

Anyway, I came across this story from the New Zealand Herald criticizing the warning Diabetes New Zealand gave about Hot Cross Buns. Pretty much, DNZ stated that the bun is "equivalent to two to three slices of bread. It advised readers of its magazine to chose a smaller bun or just eat half a bun." (Emphasis mine) So, the Herald has gotten carried away and took this warning as a call to parliament to ban the seasonal hot cross bun.

Now, I understand that people don't want to be told how much they should eat, especially of a seasonal treat. And their probably tired of people blaming everything as a cause of obesity.

Anyway, a person called Anthony made the following comment that caught my attention:

"It is like the anti-smacking bill. Smart people will not overindulge so they dont need a warning. Those who do overindulge will not heed the warning.,"

A very good point, but what about those "not so smart" people? Just cause you ain't smart doesn't mean you can't make good choices for yourself. It just means that you could benefit from a bit of useful information. A fool is the one who doesn't ever want to learn. Even smart people can be fools.

Now, I understand that the tizzy was probably not over the part that the bun equals two or more bread servings, but more due to the suggestion to eat a smaller bun or half of one. But the suggestion was made in a magazine from the own organization, not in a press release or a draft bill to parliament.

As a dietitian, I want to help people make better choices for themselves, not choose for them. That's why I don't like diets (I also don't like the focus on weight either but I'll have to save that for another post). But if someone with high blood pressure comes to me and is asks me what they can do to lower the sodium in their diet, then should I just teach them how to read the food label and leave it at that? Or should I offer other alternatives as well?

I acknowledge that dietitians and other health professionals and organizations have often failed in the message they send out to the public. But, in the case of the NZ Herald, who is making a mountain out of a molehill here? But, apparently, it is only the health professional/organization that is ever to blame.

Anyway, to celebrate Good Friday, here is my Hot Cross Bun recipe. If you want just the recipe, (without all this rambling from this post), highlight the recipe and then go to file, print (or ctrl-p) and "print selection". If that doesn't work, let me know and i'll post it seperately. By the way, I found out I had both the bread machine version and the hand mixed version on my computer. Well, it made for an interesting blog post, I hope :-)

Hot Cross Buns (Bread Machine)

Recipe By : Rosie's Easter Basket
Serving Size : 15 Preparation Time :0:00
Categories : Bread (Machine)

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
1/2 cup milk*
1/4 cup water*
3 Tablespoons butter -- cut in small pieces
2 eggs
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon bread machine yeast
1/4 cup dried currants
1/4 cup raisins
----- Egg Glaze -----
2 Tablespoons water
1 egg yolk
----- Icing -----
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
2 teaspoons milk or cream
dash salt
1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract

*3/4 cup skim milk may be used in place of the milk and water listed
for rolls above.

Place first ten ingredients in bread machine in order suggested by manufacturer. Set machine for dough or manual program. The dough should be soft but check during the kneading cycle and add a little flour or milk as necessary. Add the currants and raisins ten minutes before the end of the kneading cycle.

When program has finished, turn risen dough out on to a very lightly floured surface. Shape into 15 balls. Place on lightly greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise until doubled (about 30 minutes).

Using a sharp knife, cut a cross (or X) on the top of each roll.
Beat the water and egg yolk together and brush over rolls. (You will probably have more than you need, discard the unused egg glaze.)

Bake at 375° F. for 12 to 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, make icing by combining the last four ingredients. Stir
until smooth, adjusting sugar and milk to make a mixture that flows easily.

When rolls are baked, cool on wire racks. Drizzle icing over the top of each roll following the lines of the cut cross.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Nutritional information according to MasterCook, per roll:
189 calories, 3.8g fat (1.9g sat. 18.2% CFF ), 4.7g protein, 34.1g
carbohydrates, 46mg cholesterol, 250mg sodium

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