Hot Cross Buns of course!

Posted on: April 10th, 2009 by admin 3 Comments

Whether you celebrate Easter or not, hot cross buns are a wonderful treat to look forward to in March and April. It’s a pity they are not made year round, because they really are a satisfying little package, a little sweet, a little filling, a little spicy and very good.

They are not difficult to make, just a bit time consuming what with rising yeast etc, but really they are easy, you’ll impress yourself. This is a wonderful recipe, with some variations if you choose…

hotcrossbuns

Hot Cross Buns

  • 4 c plain flour
  • 2 x 7g (2 x .25 oz) sachets dried yeast
  • 1/4 c caster sugar
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • pinch of salt
  • 50g (1.7 oz) butter
  • 300ml (2/3 pint) milk
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • optional extras
  • 1 c currants (substituting chocolate chips is very popular)
  • 2 tbsp candied orange or lemon peel, chopped (can be controversial!)

Flour paste (cross)

  • 1/2 c plain flour
  • 4 to 5 tbsp water
  • or
  • 200 g (7oz) marzipan

Glaze

  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • or
  • 1 egg beaten
  • or
  • apricot jam (heated on the stove to liquid)

Preheat oven to 190°C. (375ºF)

Combine flour, yeast, sugar, mixed spice, salt and currants in a large bowl. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add milk. Heat for 1 minute, or until lukewarm. Too much heat will kill the yeast, too little and it won’t rise.. Add warm milk mixture and eggs to currant mixture. Use a flat-bladed knife to mix until dough almost comes together. Use clean hands to finish mixing to form a soft dough.

Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead for 10 minutes, or until dough is smooth. Place into a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until dough doubles in size.

Line a large baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Punch dough down to its original size. Knead on a lightly floured surface until smooth. Divide into 12 even portions. Shape each portion into a ball. Place balls onto lined tray, about 1cm apart. Cover with plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm, draft-free place for 30 minutes, or until buns double in size.

Make the cross: Mix flour and water together in a small bowl until smooth, adding a little more water if paste is too thick. Spoon into a small snap-lock bag. Snip off 1 corner of bag. Pipe flour paste over tops of buns to form crosses. Or use thinly rolled strips of marzipan (you can roll it in a little icing sugar to prevent it sticking) laid in crosses over the buns. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until buns are cooked through.

Make glaze: Place water and sugar into a small saucepan over low heat. Stir until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil. Boil for 5 minutes. Brush warm glaze over warm hot cross buns. Or 5 minutes before they are finished cooking brush lightly with egg or jam and pop back in the oven. Serve warm or at room temperature, but pretty quick as these are definitely best fresh!

Happy Easter!

Recipe adapted from: SBS food

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3 Responses

  1. Kate says:

    Where do you stand on the highly controversial ‘peel or no peel’ debate? Personally I vote yes but have discovered upon producing my homemade buns with the citrusy bits that this can cause conniptions in others!!

  2. admin says:

    I don’t mind a bit of peel to be honest. I’m going to add that as an option, it wasn’t even mentioned in my recipe… It would probably cause a conniption here too, I already have to leave out the currants, but that’s a good thing about h-c buns, I think the spicy sweetness is good any way it works out! (happy easter!)

  3. [...] Hot Cross Buns! One of my all-time favorite things to eat at ANY time of year [...]

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