I hope everyone is well! Oh how I love a lovely toasted hot cross bun with butter melted in and a nice cup of tea. mmm.. It has been a little bit chillier this week so it has been even better for a toasty morning or afternoon tea. I can’t believe it’s Autumn already and nearly Easter! Mind you in reality, I just had Autumn while I was in France… Oh well! I must admit I am so slow with trying to organise my time better and productive with my time. I have been really busy with assignments and I am also trying to get better at going to the gym and such. But I’m gradually getting there and the posts are coming along! I managed to make these gorgeous, soft, wonderful hot cross buns! Last year I did a hot cross bun baking class on a Sunday and I learned some tips as to how to make hot cross buns especially delicious. If you don’t celebrate easter or don’t like the crosses or want to eat these at other times of the year then you could simply bake these without the crosses. Yay!
Hot Cross Buns
For this recipe it is quite important to be precise measuring out all the ingredients and to have a good read through before you start. You do need to prepare the sultanas the night before, although the actual process of making and proving them isn’t overly long at all. I find the second time baking them is always easier. I have tried to include as many good tips as I can. Enjoy 🙂
For the Buns
450g strong, high grade flour (plus extra for dusting)
45g soft brown sugar
10g Allspice (pimento)
225ml warm milk (bath warm)
45g soft butter
300g soaked and air dried sultanas give or take (I say measure after you’ve soaked them)
100g rice flour (use rice flour because it is easier to pipe as it forms a paste consistency and doesn’t become stretchy like when using a glutinous flour)
1 TBS vegetable oil
Glaze (delicious but this makes them sticky just so you know)
100g Apricot Jam with a little water
1. Like mentioned in the ingredients, soak the sultanas in warm water for 30 minutes and the strain in a colander overnight. This is to plump up the sultanas and so they don’t draw the moisture out of the buns.
2. If you are using instant/active yeast (like most people) not fresh yeast, activate the yeast by sprinkling over the warm milk and stirring until mostly dissolved.
3. Mix flour, sugar, salt, yeast, all spice, egg and warm milk in large bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer with dough hook attachment until a dough begins to form (start kneading if doing by hand) and then add in the softened butter. I’ve noted to judge the wetness if the mixture i.e. if it’s too dry add milk or add flour if its really wet… I never have needed to add anything but it may depend on your flour.
4. Keep kneading/mixing until a smooth dough forms. Until you can carefully stretch out a “gluten window” so stretch a little piece thin without the dough making a hole.
5. Place it in a large bowl and leave to rise in a warm environment (28-32 degrees) for about 5-10 minutes. I warm the oven up to 25-30 degrees.
6. In the meantime, place the sultanas and mixed peel in a bowl and microwave until hot.
7. Place the hot fruit on top of the dough to create a nice hot blanket over the dough. Leave the dough to prove until doubled in size, about 15-20 minutes
8. Work in the fruit (mixer on a low gear) and aim for all the fruit to be covered. Shape into a large round ball on a floured bench top. Leave to rest for 10 minutes.
9. Divide the dough into 12 pieces of approximately 100g each and form a bun. Now there’s like a trick of rolling the buns. With a slightly cupped hand with all fingers together, roll the bun in circular motions on the benchtop. The dough will naturally roll in the opposite direction and sort of inside out itself. I wonder if that makes any sense at all… It’s best to roll them twice but I couldn’t be bothered.
10. Place buns on greased tray. Leave to prove until double in size (took mine about 50 minutes). This is where a spray bottle of water comes in! Spray the buns with water and again every so often. I haven’t got around to getting one so I just splash them which isn’t the most even or efficient way of doing it… but it kinda still does the job…
Note: I made my buns sitting on a flat tray separately but there is the option to put them in a rectangular tin so they are like in a pack but I have found they don’t always bake evenly this way.
11. In the mean time, mix together the cross mix ingredients with a fork. The consistency should be like pancake batter. Add a little bit of water if it’s too thick.
12. When the buns are double in size, be very careful at this stage. Pipe crosses on the buns, spray with water and place immediately in the oven.
13. Bake in preheated oven of 200 degrees celcius or 190 fan bake. Bake for approximately 10-12 minutes. Keep an eye on the colour, they should be well browned but the crosses are still white.
14. While they make, heat up the apricot jam in the microwave until hot. When the buns come out immediately brush them with the hot jam. (I realise my recipe says to prevent stickiness.. I am not so sure about that…)
15. Leave to cool a little. Enjoy with butter and a nice cup of tea!
Thanks for reading! I might post some more easter recipes because why not! 🙂 I am really in the baking mood at the moment. I hope you enjoyed this recipe. 🙂