While those of us who celebrate Easter realise it is infinitely more than the consumption of vast quantities of hot cross buns and chocolate, this time of year seems appropriate to post a little something for readers who are feeling energetic. Here then is a Hot Cross Bun recipe.
I have several bun recipes lurking in my books; from the very traditional to the ultra-easy. This time, I thought I’d include one that required a little more work than the très -facile recipes but still beats the commercially available buns hands-down. I am indebted to my niece Siobhan for the main part of this recipe. I have made some changes to suit personal taste.
Hot Cross buns, for me, need to be spicy and soft, with a generous raisin/sultana content – no citrus peel please. As a kid, I loved pulling the ‘cross’ off the bun and eating that separately, and this recipe allows for that. When the buns come out of the oven, they should have a slightly crispy surface, soft, spongy inside; enhanced with a sticky glaze. Excuse me while I mop the chin.
- 480 g Cake flour (4 x 250ml)
- 5 ml Salt (1 tsp)
- 50 ml Brown molasses sugar (4 Tbsp) any sugar is ok, but the brown sugar helps with colour
- 5 ml Mixed Spice (1 heaped tst)
- 10 ml Nutmeg (2 heaped tsp)
- 15 ml Cinnamon (3 tsp)
- 5 ml Ground Cloves (1 heaped tsp)
- 3 ml Pimento Allspice (2/3 tsp)
- 10 g Yeast. Personally I prefer wet yeast, but instant yeast is fine (1.5 pkt)
- 60 g Butter (65ml)
- 150 ml Warm Milk
- 1 Extra large egg, beaten
- 125 ml Lukewarm water (1/2 cup)
- 120 g Raisins and Sultanas (250ml)
- Beaten egg, to brush
- 140 g Cake flour (1/2 cup)
- 4 ml Salt (just under 1 tsp)
- 45 ml Oil (3 Tbsp)
- 125 ml Milk (1/2 cup)
- 1 large egg
- 200 ml sugar (3/4 cup) sugar
- 115 ml water (Almost 2/3 cup) water to the boil
- Preheat oven to 200C
- Sift flour, salt, sugar and spices and mix together.
- Add the yeast and mix
- Melt butter in the warm milk (don’t boil) and cool slightly
- Add milk mixture to dry ingredients, together with the beaten egg and enough lukewarm water to form a soft dough. The amount of water will depend on the humidity.
- Kneed dough well for 10 min until smooth en elastic.
- Place dough in a floured bowl or on a lightly floured surface, cover loosely with cling wrap and leave to rest in a warm place for 10 – 15 min
- Knock dough down and work dried fruit in, whilst kneading.
- Divide dough into 15 to 18 equal pieces, shape each piece into a bun and place on greased baking tray
- Cover loosely again with cling wrap (or a moist tea towel) and allow to rise in a warm place until double in volume, about 30 to 35 min.
- Prepare the ‘cross’ topping by mixing the flour, salt and oil together.
Gradually add the milk until the batter is thin enough to pipe, but thick enough to hold shape.
- Brush the buns with beaten egg and pipe a cross over each bun
- Bake at 200° C/400° F for 15 – 20 min. At the coast, I took them out after 17 minutes and they were fine.
- While your buns are in the oven, as it were, bring the sugar and water glaze mixture to the boil. Allow to simmer until just before it’s time to take the buns out. Don’t worry if the syrup thickens a little.
- Glaze the buns with warm sugar water as they come out of the oven.
- Enjoy with a nice cup of Earl Grey, a good coffee or on its own.