May 04, 2011

hot cross buns

Yes I know we're past Easter, but I made these again last weekend. During the Royal Wedding actually - between the service and the kiss!

I based the recipe on one from The River Cottage Bread Handbook, making a few small revisions. They were much nicer than shop bought! Springy, light and tasty - a perfect hot cross bun!

Makes 8 large buns or 12 normal size:
500g plain flour *
125ml warm water
125ml warm milk
5g dried fast-action yeast
10g salt
50g caster sugar
1 large free-range egg
50g melted butter
50g currants
50g sultanas
1 tsp cinnamon

for the crosses:
75g plain flour
100ml water

for the glaze:
2 tbsp caster sugar
2 tbsp boiling water

Combine the flour, water, milk, water, yeast, salt and sugar in a food mixer fitted with dough hook. Add the egg and butter and mix to sticky dough. * The 2nd time I made these I added about 75g more flour as the mixture was too wet. It is a sticky mixture, but you do need to be able to combine into a dough.

Add the fruit and cinnamon and knead on a low speed until silky and smooth. Cover the dough and leave to rise in a warm place (I put mine on the hob) for an hour until doubled in size.

Knock back and divide into 8 pieces. Shape into rounds on a flour-dusted surface. Transfer to a floured baking sheet and cover with clingfilm until doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Whisk together the flour and water for the crosses until smooth (add a little more flour if it looks too runny), and transfer to a piping bag. I found it helped to cut a shallow cross with a knife first and then pipe into the cut. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until golden. Dissolve the sugar in the water for the glaze and brush over the buns. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

These are lovely straight from the oven spread with butter, or toasted later. They keep for up to 3 days in an airtight box.

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