Ostara Recipies

Hot Cross Buns
Hot cross buns, usually considered a traditional Easter food, may be very ancient. A wheaten cake marked with a cross was found in Herculaneum, preserved since 79, and may have been used in the spring rites.

1¼ cups of warm water
½ cup of soft brown sugar
4 teaspoons of dry active yeast
4 cups of flour
2 tablespoons of milk powder
2 teaspoons of mixed spice
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
A pinch of ground cloves
½ cup of dried currants
½ cup of raisins
¼ cup of mixed peel
50 grams / 2 oz of butter
5 tablespoons of flour
1 tablespoon of water
1 egg

Preheat the oven to 200°C, 390°F or gas mark 5½. Add the warm water to a medium sized bowl and stir in the brown sugar until dissolved. Sprinkle the yeast granules over the top and put aside. Melt the butter and set aside. In a large bowl or electric mixer sift the flour, milk powder and spices and then add the dried fruits. When the yeast mix is frothy add to the flour and fruit and pour in the melted butter. Mix to combine and knead by hand until smooth or for about 8 minutes using a mixer with dough hook. Cover and set aside to double in size or microwave for 10 to 15 seconds on high (this is a shortcut method to activate the dough). Cut and shape 15 buns and place in a warm greased baking tin. Lightly beat the egg and thinly coat the tops of the buns with the egg wash using a pastry brush. Place the buns in a warm place to continue rising for around 40 minutes. Mix 5 tablespoons of flour with around one tablespoon of water to make a firm dough. Roll into thin strips and place across the buns to form the crosses. Brush the strips with a little more egg wash. Bake for 20 minutes.

Irish Soda Bread
2 cups white flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
4 tbsp. butter, chilled
1 cup raisins
1 1/2 cups buttermilk or plain yogurt

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Cut in the butter until it is pea-sized. Stir in the raisins and buttermilk or yogurt. Turn the dough onto a floured surface, knead 1 minute, and shape into a disk. Cut an “X” in the top and bake on a greased baking sheet for 45 to 50 minutes. Makes one 8-inch-wide loaf.

Irish Soda Bread 2
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons white sugar
1/2 cup raisins
1 egg, beaten
1 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons margarine, melted

Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a cast iron skillet. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda and sugar.Toss the raisins with the flour mixture until coated. Make a well in the center and add the egg, buttermilk, and melted margarine. Stir until all of the dry ingredients are absorbed. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for a few quick turns just to even out the dough. Handle the dough as little as possible. Pat into a flat circle, and place into the prepared pan. Bake the bread for 40 to 45 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges are golden.

Dandelion Wine
Take a gallon of fresh picked dandelion flowers and place them in a large tub, pour 1 gallon of boiling water over them and let it steep for about 10 or so days stirring now and then. Then strain the liquid and add 3 or 4 pounds sugar, its up to you and your tastebuds : ) Then add the rind of 1 lemon and 1 orange then ad the rest of the lemon and orange to the liquid. Bring to a boil and boil gently for about 20 minutes or so. Remove from heat. After it has cooled down, add a tablespoon of brewer’s yeast and a quarter ounce of compressed yeast spread on a piece of toast.(yes, toast)….Cover and leave for a few days. Then put it in a cask and bottle it for 2 months or more.

Chocolate Pixies
1/4 cup butter
4 (1 ounce) squares
unsweetened chocolate
2 cups white sugar
4 egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar for decoration

Melt butter and chocolate together over low heat or in the microwave. In a medium bowl, mix eggs and sugar with an electric mixer until smooth. Stir in melted chocolate mixture. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt . Stir dry ingredients into the egg mixture by hand until well blended. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Preheat oven to 300 degrees (150 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets. Shape rounded teaspoonfuls into balls and roll in confectioners’ sugar. Place cookies 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheets. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until firm to touch.

Easy Broccoli Quiche
This easy vegetarian quiche is a snap to make but looks great on the table.

2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, minced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 cups chopped fresh broccoli
1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust
1 1/2 cups shredded swiss and cheddar cheese
4 eggs, well beaten
1 1/2 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Over medium-low heat melt butter in a large saucepan. Add onions, garlic and broccoli. Cook slowly, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are soft. Spoon vegetables into crust and sprinkle with cheese. Combine eggs and milk. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in melted butter. Pour egg mixture over vegetables and cheese. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until center has set.

Bunny Rolls

1 head of lettuce
1 1/2 cups cottage cheese
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup mayonnaise

Remove large lettuce leaves, wash and dry. Mix remaining ingredients. Spread on lettuce leaf. Roll up and eat. The spread also makes a wonderful topping for crackers or toast squares.

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