Hot Cross Buns!
Hot Cross Buns are great, they are great at any time but somehow they just taste better at Easter, traditionally served on Good Friday – with a nice cuppa, obvs.
These delicious little buns are sticky, fluffy, fruity and great slathered in a really good European style butter. You can also cut them in half and toast them (yum)!
They may seem a little daunting to make but they really aren’t. They just take some patients with the rising time but making them is easy peasy lemon squeezey. Nothing beats the smell of Hot Cross Buns baking in the oven, I think you should impress those around you and knock up a batch. I’ll show you how.
Makes 12 buns. You will need a baking tray, knife – one sharp one blunt like a dinner knife and a pastry brush.
1Ib 2oz/500g/3¾C (heaped) Bread flour
2½oz/75g/1/3C (heaped) Golden caster sugar (tip – if you haven’t got caster sugar just use granulated golden sugar or regular sugar)
3tsp. Mixed spice (substitute apple pie spice or pumpkin spice)
1tsp. Ground cinnamon
1 Sachet of fast rising yeast/instant yeast (7g per sachet)
1 3/4oz/50g/¼C Butter, soft
1 Egg, lightly whisked
3oz/80g/½C Candied peel or mixed peel
5oz/150g/3/4C Currents or mixed dried fruit
1 Orange, zest only
1 Lemon, zest only
10floz/300ml Milk (full fat) hand hot (this will activate the yeast)
What to do
- Mix the flour, salt, yeast and spices together with a whisk
- Mix in the sugar, fruit, peel and zest
- Make a well in the centre and add the soft butter and whisked egg, next pour in the hand hot milk
- Use a the blunt edge of a knife and mix the ingredients together. The mixture will seem craggy but starting to come together, now get your hands in there and finish bringing the dough together. The dough should start to leave the sides of the bowl clean
- Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel or cling film and leave it at room temperature to rise. It needs to double in size, it should take 1 ½ – 2 hours
- Tip the dough out onto a clean surface, you shouldn’t need to flour it, and knock out the air using your fist. With a blunt knife or pallet knife cut the dough in half, then quarters and then each quarter into 3 so you have 12 lumps
- Shape each lump of dough into rounds and place on a greased baking tray, leave some space in-between them as they will double in size. Cover the buns, I usually lightly oil some cling film to prevent it sticking, and leave them to rise again for about 45 mins – 1 hour
Preheat your oven to 425°F/220°C and prepare the crosses for the top
For the crosses:
2oz/50g/½C All purpose flour
1 ½Tbsp. Butter
Water to combine
Simply rub the butter into the flour then add a tablespoon of water at a time to make a dough. Roll the dough out onto a lightly floured surface with a rolling pin, cut into 24 slithers (1/4 inch wide). Drape over the buns to makes crosses on the top, dampening the ends to secure them to the bun and trim off any excess.
Bake the buns for 15 minutes until lovely and golden. While they are doing their thing in the oven you can make the glaze. You can heat 2Tbsp. of sugar in 1Tbsp. of water in a small saucepan, until the sugar has dissolved to make a simple glaze or you can heat some apricot jam (no lumps). When your buns are done use a pastry brush to brush over your chosen glaze while they are warm. Leave to cool on a wire rack.