I love baking with yeast and what with hot cross buns being a legit excuse to get things fermenting, I tend to make my own and have done for a while now. I repeated the hot cross buns I made last year, from Alison Holst's Dollars and Sense cookbook. While I admire Holst and what she's done for cooking in New Zealand, I'm not a great fan of her writing. Cannot fault her hot cross buns at all though - they're very straightforward to make, generously buttery, smell incredible while baking and taste brilliant. They don't keep like shop-bought ones but in the likely event of having stale leftovers you can make a completely life-changing bread and butter pudding out of them. Recipe: here!
Seriously. So good. All spicy and soft and full of the rich, yeasty scent of achievement at having kneaded the dough by hand. They come out a little flatter than their bought counterparts (all the more surface area for smearing butter over) and are lighter in colour, but truly far nicer than anything out of a plastic bag. You could use this recipe any old time of year minus the crosses to make spiced fruit buns. As making the crosses was really the most difficult thing about the process, I'd be happy to leave them off and enjoy these long after Easter has gone.
Last night - Easter Sunday - Tim and I went to So So Modern's launch for their new album Crude Futures at San Fransisco Bath House, one of the few places lit up along a quiet Cuba Street. They were supported by a whole mess of local talent, including the fantastically happy Alphabethead who we saw supporting Tourettes the other week (and whose mixtape I finally bought), Tommy Ill, who we disapointingly arrived too late for, and a bit of Diana Rozz, who I haven't formed an opinion on yet but...I liked the lighting during their set. For a while there in 2006 it seemed like we were going to So So Modern gigs every weekend, so there was a weirdly nostalgic feel seeing them again live. They gratifyingly mixed tunes old and new and seemed to be enjoying themselves. I bought a wooden laser-cut "Modern" badge (there were also "So", "Crude" and "Futures" badges for sale) which is rather sweet - a bit like something Millie Dillmount might wear to a job interview if she were alive and well in 2010 to signify her societal position to all who see it.
Title brought to you by: Iggy Pop's droning yet strangely upbeat Funtime, from his Bowie-collaborating solo album The Idiot. "I don't need no heavy trips" insists Iggy. Of course, who would when there's hot cross buns fresh from the oven?
Music while I type:
Music while I type:
Speaking of 2006 - Fire Department by from Be Your Own Pet's eponymous debut album. I used to love this band back when I first moved to Wellington, but absolutely everyone I knew really hated them. Luckily for absolutely everyone, BYOP broke up. Their music is - was - all big and scrappy and not that clever but in that really clever way that makes a lot of other music sound comparitively laboured and overwrought. This is underwrought brilliance. So much so that heck, they get two songs on this list and you can have Take That Walk, from their Summer Sensation EP while you're at it.
Valentine by Delays from their album You See Colours. While revisiting 2006's self-conscious tunes I also stumbled across this which we used to thrash heartily. None of their further output really did anything for me but this song is such a delirious mess that nothing else is necessary.
Next time: I got myself all hyped up about making hot cross buns and now with Easter behind me I'm not sure what direction I'll be heading in foodwise. You'll be the first to know though...