Hot Cross Buns


 Prep Time : 45 Minutes | Cook Time : 20 Minutes | Total Time : 3 hours | Difficulty : Moderate

Hot Cross Buns

I absolutely love hot cross buns and happily make them without crosses during the year but they are a staple of Easter time in my family. My mother ALWAYS makes her own and invites people over to share them. Now I make them as well – only this year the buns and I are heading to a friend’s house. They are super satisfying to make yourself and with a long weekend there’s plenty of time to prepare them! I have borrowed a trick from making brioche – adding butter during kneading makes these buns extra tender and fluffy.

If you are going to have people over plan ahead to allow for the proving and rising times – perhaps an Easter afternoon tea rather than a morning tea? Always make sure you aren’t rushed with bread because it can take a little more or less time depending on the weather/how warm the house is/if there’s any sun. It’s better to have too much time than too little (and nothing to serve!)

Let’s get started. Measure out the milk and warm it gently in a small saucepan or the microwave until it reaches blood temperature. Test it by putting your (clean) finger in it – it should be just starting to feel lukewarm. Remove from the heat and sprinkle the yeast over it. Leave it to soften while you prepare the other ingredients.

Slice the butter into thin flakes and set aside. Measure out the fruits and set them aside in a bowl.

fruit

Measure the flour salt and spices into a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix them together so that the salt and spice is distributed. Give the yeast and milk a stir to mix the yeast in and pour into the flour mixture. Using your hands or the mixer bring the dough together until it’s shaggy and just combined. Leave it to sit for a few minutes to relax.

dough 1

Knead the dough for four minutes on low in a stand mixer or for about six minutes by hand. It should be starting to become stretchy and less sticky. Knead in the butter flakes in two parts. It will be sticky and buttery for a little while but hang in there – after a couple of minutes it will suddenly absorb. Continue kneading for a further four to five minutes until smooth and elastic.

Time to add the fruit. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and press out into a big rectangle. Tip the fruit on top and spread it out over the dough.

fruit in

Roll the dough up from one end to the centre and then from the opposite end.

fruit in 2

Next roll the double sausage of dough up along its length.

fruit in 3

Knead the dough for a couple of minutes to complete the distribution of the fruit.

fruit in 4

Put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a plastic bag. Leave in a warm place until doubled in size – about 1 hour.

doubles

Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently press the gasses out. Fold the dough over on itself a couple of times and leave to rest for a few minutes while you lightly grease a baking sheet and turn the oven on to 220C (425F). Divide the dough into 10 equal portions. Form each portion into a round and place them onto the greased tray with even spacing between to allow for rising. Cover lightly with a tea towel and leave in a warm place until doubled in size (again).

shaped

When the buns are well risen brush them with egg wash so they will bake up golden and shiny. I go for baked on crosses made with a paste of flour and water mixed together in even volumes. Using a piping bag or a plastic bag with the corner snipped off, pipe crosses on the buns right before baking.

risen with crosses

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until browned and the buns sound hollow when tapped with a knuckle on the underside.

baked

Leave the buns to cool on a wire rack only until they are safe to eat – then slather with butter and gobble up every spicy, fruity buttery bite!

plated

Hot Cross Buns


Prep Time : 45 mins | Cook Time : 20 mins | Total Time : 3 hours | Difficulty : Moderate | Makes : 10 buns

Classic Easter spiced fruit rolls.

Ingredients:

  • 350 ml | 12.5 fl oz milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp active dried yeast
  • 50 gm | 1.8 oz | 3 1/2 tbsp very soft butter
  • 100 gm | 3.6 oz | 2/3 cup raisins
  • 50 gm | 1.8 oz | 1/3 cup dried currants
  • 2 tbsp diced candied peel
  • 500 gm | 1 lb 2 oz | bread flour (high grade)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp ground mixed spice
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp of water
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 3 tbsp cold water

Directions:

Measure out the milk and warm it gently in a small saucepan or the microwave until it reaches blood temperature. Test it by putting your (clean) finger in it – it should be starting to feel lukewarm. Remove from the heat and sprinkle the yeast over it. Leave it to soften while you prepare the other ingredients.

Slice the butter into thin flakes and set aside. Measure out the fruits and set them aside in a bowl.

Measure the flour salt and spices into a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix them together so that the salt and spice is distributed. Give the yeast and milk a stir to mix the yeast in and pour into the flour mixture. Using your hands or the mixer bring the dough together until it’s shaggy and just combined. Leave it to sit for a few minutes to relax.

Knead the dough for four minutes on low in a stand mixer or for about six minutes by hand. It should be starting to become stretchy and less sticky. Knead in the butter flakes in two parts. It will be sticky and buttery for a little while but hang in there – after a couple of minutes it will suddenly absorb. Continue kneading for a further four to five minutes until smooth and elastic.

Time to add the fruit. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and press out into a big rectangle. Tip the fruit on top and spread it out over the dough. Roll the dough up from one end to the centre and then from the opposite end. Next roll the double sausage of dough up along its length. Knead the dough for a couple of minutes to complete the distribution of the fruit.

Put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a plastic bag. Leave in a warm place until doubled in size – about 1 hour.

Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gently press the gasses out. Fold the dough over on itself a couple of times and leave to rest for a couple of minutes while you lightly grease a baking sheet and turn the oven on to 220C (425F). Divide the dough into 10 equal portions. Form each portion into a round and place them onto the greased tray with even spacing between to allow for rising. Cover lightly with a tea towel and leave in a warm place until doubled in size.

When the buns are well risen brush them with egg wash so they will bake up golden and shiny. Mix the last measures of flour and water to a thick paste and using a piping bag or a plastic bag with the corner snipped off, pipe crosses on the buns right before baking.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until browned and the buns sound hollow when tapped with a knuckle on the underside. Leave the buns to cool on a wire rack until cool enough to gobble up.

© 2014 The Winsome Baker. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

2 thoughts on “Hot Cross Buns

  1. Funny you saying about making them without the cross: a baker I once challenged on this said that he puts the cross on all year round now because for some reason people won’t buy a spiced fruit bun without the cross!

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