Easter Hot Cross Buns


HotCrossBuns_JaelMarschner-1Happy Easter

They came out a treat!
As per my previous post I know I am late with my Hot Cross Buns, which are usually eaten on Good Friday. But, at least, it’s still Easter and, in a way, they are just a spiced raisin buns you could eat any day, if you leave the crosses off.

I’m always a bit nervous when it comes to yeast based bakes but the receipe here requires the fast acting dried yeast sachets, which I seem to have more success with than fresh yeast. So if like me you are a little shy of baking with yeast, don’t be and try making these.

They are best eaten the day they are made. If you have some left the next day I find 20 seconds in the microwave warm and freshen them up enough for a second Easter breakfast.

For 12 buns you’ll need:

  • 450g strong white/bread flour (plus a little extra for dusting)
  • 2 x 7g sachets easy-blend/fast acting yeast
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 150ml warm milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 50g unsalted butter, melted (plus a little extra for greasing)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp mixed spice
  • 1/4 nutmeg
  • 100g raisins or currants

And to decorate them:

  • 4 tbsp strong white/bread flour
  • 2 tbsp sugar

Lightly grease a large bowl.

In another large mixing bowl combine the flour, yeast, caster sugar, raisins/currants, salt and spices. Make a well in the middle and pour in the warm milk, 50ml warm water, egg and melted butter. Mix everything to form a dough – the best way to do this is with a wooden spoon until all is mixed well at which point you need to get your hand in. If the dough is too wet add a little more flour, if it is too dry a little more water.

Knead the dough in the bowl until it becomes smooth, then transfer it to the greased bowl and cover it with a damp tea towel. Leave to rise in a warm place (I used a sunny windowsill and wrapped a wooly blanket around the bowl) for about an hour, until doubled in size.

Turn the risen dough onto a floured surface and knead for a few seconds, then divide into 12 even portions. Lightly grease a baking sheet and roll each dough portion into a smooth bun and place them on the baking sheet. With a shape knife cut a cross onto each bun. Cover the buns with a damp tea towel again and leave to rise for 20 minutes, which should again double the size.

Preheat the oven to gas mark 6 while they are rising.

Mix the four tablespoons of water with just enough water to make a runny but thick paste and spoon this paste into a piping bag to pipe crosses onto the buns.

Bake for 12 – 14 minutes until the buns are golden brown. As soon as they are out of the oven, dissolve the four tablespoons of sugar in water and brush the buns with this glaze. Enjoy them warm and have a happy Easter!

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