Hot Cross Buns

One a Penny, Two a Penny, Hot Cross Buns.

You must be wondering why I am putting this out, it’s not even Easter. My personal belief is, who needs it to be Easter to eat Hot Cross Buns. But then again that’s just my own opinion and I like to eat these soft, spiced ‘raisiny’ (I don’t even think there is a word like this), but that’s the passion oozing out when I think of this baked delight. They don’t have to be eaten at Easter only, I love to slice them in two, chuck them into a toaster and spread a dollop of butter before I savour them.

So why are we then actually doing this blog? Well today happens to be the National Hot Cross Bun day, a day to take time off with the family so you can bake these shiny delights and consider its roots. Today, you aren’t in a hurry to cook and put out an Easter meal, today you bake these and enjoy it. Maybe add a few chocolate callets or salted caramel or any glaze you wish.

I present to you a simple version and a recipe I have refined over the years. To this you can add other bits you fancy there is no right or wrong, so bake and enjoy and let us know how it went.

Ingredients:

Hot Cross Buns

  • 225 ml Whole Pasteurised Milk
  • 70 g Caster Sugar
  • 7 g Dried Active Yeast
  • 500 g Strong White Bread Flour
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Dry Ginger
  • 1/2 tsp Nutmeg
  • ½ Tsp Mixed Spice (Optional)
  • 1 Orange – zest
  • 1 Lime – zest
  • 75 g Unsalted Butter (cold)
  • 200 g Raisins or Mix Peel or Sultanas
  • 2 Eggs – Medium

Topping

  • 30 g Flour
  • 30 ml Water

Glaze

  • 1 tbsp Apricot Jam
  • ¼ tsp Warm Water

Method:

  • Warm your Milk in a pan till it’s reached a lukewarm temperature that is 36.5°C– 40.5°C, now add the sugar and yeast till it foams up.
  • In a bowl, add your Strong Flour, Salt, Cinnamon, Ginger, Nutmeg, Mixed Spice, Orange and Lemon Zest
  • Add the Butter and rub between the palm of your hands so that the mixture resembles breadcrumbs, much like a crumble mix.
  • To the mix, add your warmed milk yeast mixture, then the Eggs and Raisins and mix it all together.
  • Using the dough hook on your mixer, knead for 5-10 minutes until the mixture is smooth, and springs back when your finger is pressed to it.
  • Transfer to a clean and lightly oiled bowl and cover the bowl with clingfilm. Leave to raise, until doubled in size, about 1-2 hours
  • When it has doubled, remove from the bowl and knead lightly on a floured surface to knock back and remove air.
  • Split evenly into 12 balls approximately 90-95g and line them about 2cm gap between the rolls and 4×3.
  • Cover with lightly oiled cling film and leave to rise, now preheat oven to 200°C/180°C.
  • 45 minutes later, whisk together the flour and water, and carefully pipe on to form the crosses.
  • Bake in the oven for 20 minutes at 200°C/180°C.
  • Once baked – brush lightly with apricot jam thinned with warm water, for a shiny glaze.
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