Sunday, 12 April 2009

Hot Cross Buns!

We'd only made hot cross buns once before and, to be honest, they were disappointing. The texture of the bread just wasn't right let alone the spicing and balance of fruit. This time, I decided to find a tried and tested recipe from one of the knowledgable posters on the BBC Food Chat board. When I say "I", what I really mean is "we", since Pete is definitely the master baker in this household! In the end we couldn't decide between two recipes (by users Paulthebread and Cherrytreeagain), so we amalgamated both. We also halved the amounts to make just 6 rolls instead of 12.

Well, we must have done something right, as the resulting hot cross buns were delicious! If I'd known they'd come out this well we'd have made the full 12!

I'm providing the recipe amounts doubled back up again to make 12. Note, we didn't bother with crosses (though we probably will next time) or a glaze (which neither of us like).

Hot Cross Buns
(Makes 12)

Ingredients for buns
7 grams easy blend yeast
40 grams caster sugar
1 teaspoon salt
450 grams strong white bread flour
1 level teaspoon mixed spice
Half teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch ground nutmeg (or a grating or two of fresh)
50 grams butter
140 grams currants, sultanas and/or raisins (dried weight)
Water, to soak dried fruits
50 grams chopped mixed peel
1/4 pint warm milk
1/4 pint liquid reserved after soaking dried fruits

Optional: Ingredients for crosses
75 grams flour
Milk, enough to make a pipable paste

Optional: Ingredients for glaze
2 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons sugar

  1. Soak currants, sultanas and/or raisins overnight in just enough water to cover.

  2. Drain dried fruits (reserving the liquid) just before making dough.

  3. Mix spices into flour.

  4. Rub butter into flour until large crumbs form.

  5. Add sugar, fruit, peel, yeast, 1/4 pint of warm milk and 1/4 pint of the soaking liquid and mix until the mixture combines into an elastic ball and leaves the side of the bowl easily. Note: It is better for the dough to be slack (wet) rather than tight (dry). Knead for a few minutes.

  6. Cover and leave to double in size.

  7. Knock back and knead again.

  8. Shape into 12 rounds and put onto baking tray lined with non-stick paper or silicon baking sheet.

  9. Cover and leave to double in size.

  10. Optional: Mix flour and milk into paste and pipe crosses onto buns.

  11. Bake at 200C (fan oven) for 20 minutes.

  12. Optional: A few minutes before the buns are ready to come out, mix milk and sugar and heat until sugar has dissolved. Brush over the cooked buns and return to oven just for a minute before removing.

  13. Leave to cool briefly before eating or you'll burn your fingers like we did!

Happy baking!


Ilse said...

Sounds and looks really yummie. Can't wait to get my hands on my oven again when on home leave!

Caroline said...

They look amazing! i'm now super tempted to try these. YUM!

TexasTitch said...

When I was a child, we used to enjoy Hot Cross Buns for breakfast on Good Friday. My mom would split them, butter them and sprinkle them heavily with cinnamon sugar. Then she would pop them under the grill to toast. Heavenly! They don't make hot cross buns here in Texas. I miss them and intend to make them every year, but once again Good Friday has rolled around and I haven't baked any. Good for you!

Karen J said...

I was tempted to make some this year as my Mum is currently visiting from the UK however when wandering around the farmers market the weekend before she arrived I saw a sign for a bakery selling them and laziness kicked in and I bought half a dozen. I can honestly say I had forgotten how good they are. My only problem is I am not a fan of fruit peel so maybe next year I'll make a batch of my own sans the fruit peel. I'll be book marking the recipe and trying it out for my girls next year.

Anonymous said...

Ah! Found this just now. Congrats on the mention in the Guardian!