Hot Cross Buns

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Easter was wonderful – a 5 day weekend which meant lots of time for baking! I wanted to make some hot cross buns from scratch to see how easy they were to make and although I would say they are probably cheaper to buy a pack of six from the shops, once you’ve tried a home made batch you’ll taste the difference! So I had a look at a few recipes and after some deliberation I went for a Jamie Oliver recipe as they seemed the simplest for a first timer. I made two batches – one for my neighbours and one for our Easter Sunday dinner. I made a bread and butter hot cross pudding for pudding which was so yummy 🙂

So here is the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 200 ml semi-skimmed milk
  • 55 g unsalted butter
  • 2 x 7 g sachet dried yeast
  • 455 g strong bread flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ whole nutmeg
  • 55 g caster sugar
  • 2 pieces stem ginger
  • 1 large free range egg
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour
  • 55 g sultanas or raisins
  • 30 g dried cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons mixed peel
  • runny honey, to glaze

Method:
1. Add the milk and 50ml water to a small pan and place over a low heat for a few minutes, or until slightly warm – you should be able to dip your finger in without scalding it.

2. Meanwhile, add the butter to a separate pan and place over a low heat for a few minutes, or until melted, then set aside.

3. Transfer the warmed milk mixture to a medium bowl and stir in the yeast. Set aside.

4. Sift the flour into a large bowl, then add the salt, spices, a few good scrapings of nutmeg and the sugar. Finely chop the stem ginger and stir it into the mix.

5. Make a well in the centre and pour in the melted butter, followed by the yeast mixture. In a separate bowl, beat the egg and add it to the bowl.

6. Using a fork, mix well until you have a rough dough, then transfer to a clean flour dusted work surface and knead for around 10 minutes, or until soft and springy.

7. Return the dough to a flour dusted bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place for at least an hour, or until doubled in size.

8. Transfer the dough to a clean flour dusted work surface. Knock the air out by bashing it with your fist, then sprinkle over the dried fruit and mixed peel and knead into the dough for 1 to 2 minutes.

9. Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5. Grease and line a large baking tray.

10. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces and roll each into balls. Evenly space them out on a lined baking tray as you go.

11. Cover with the tea towel and leave in a warm place for a further 30 minutes, or until doubled in size.

12. Meanwhile, place the plain flour and 2 tablespoons water into a small bowl and mix to a thick paste.

13. Gently pat down the risen buns then use the batter to carefully trace a cross over the top with a piping bag or spoon.

14. Place the buns into the preheated oven for 15 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

15. Transfer to a wire cooling rack, brush over a little honey and leave to cool.

16. Slice open the sticky hot cross buns, spread with a little butter and serve – delicious

They really are so yummy straight from the oven or lightly toasted – give them a go, you won’t regret it 🙂

Holly x

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