With easter just days away its time to start making some seasonal treats, and does anything say easter quite like a hot cross bun? A perfect good friday breakfast or maybe a mid morning snack on easter sunday why not try making your own using the recipe below.
You will need…
- 450g strong plain white flour (you could also use wholemeal bread flour if you want a healthier treat)
- 55g butter
- 7g sachet (apron 1 1/2 teaspoons) of easy blend yeast
- Zest of one lemon or orange
- 25g caster sugar
- 85g sultanas
- 25g mixed peel
- 1 egg
- Aprox 250ml warm (but not hot) milk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon mixed spice
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- A generous grating of nutmeg
For the shortcrust crosses…
- 100g Plain flour
- 50g Butter
- 2 -3 tbsp cold tap water
For the sugar glaze…
- 55g Granulated sugar
- 3 tbsp cold tap water
To make the buns…
Sift the flour, salt and spices into a large bowl (I don’t like my buns too spiced but if you do feel free to experiment and add more). Next rub in the butter and add the yeast, lemon or orange zest, caster sugar and mixed peel and sultanas stirring until combined.
Now you will need to make the mixture into a dough by adding the egg into a center of the bowl, at this point you will need to add some if not all of the milk, this is your judgement, you want the dough to form a ball that is soft but not sticky.
Knead the dough on a floured worksurface (really go to town here, use any built up stress or anger on the dough) you want it to be smooth and elastic. Cover your bowl and leave in a warm place (I use the airing cupboard) for 1 – 2 hours until the dough has doubled in size.
Knock back the dough (very light kneading to get any air out) and shape into about 12 equal balls, place these onto a greased baking tray.
Now we need to make the shortcrust pastry crosses. To do this rub together the flour and butter until you get a breadcrumb consistency, at this point add just enough water to bind the mixture into a ball (Tip: you want to handle the pastry as little was possible and keep it as cool as possible). Roll out the pastry and cut thin strips, if the pastry is difficult to handle leave to cool in the fridge for a few minutes.
Place the crosses on the buns using a little water or milk to stick them on. Loosely cover the tray with some cling film and leave for the second rising (about half an hour). Whilst the buns are rising preheat your oven to gas mark 5 / 190C.
Once the second rising is complete place the buns in the oven for 15 – 20 mins. By this time they should be golden brown and sound hollow when tapped on the underside.
When your buns are in the oven use this time to make a glaze, to do this add the sugar and water to a pan and heat gently until the sugar is dissolved. Turn up the heat slightly and bring the mixture to boil for about 2 mins string constantly to avoid burning.
By now your buns should be ready to remove from the oven, transfer them to a cooling rack and brush twice with the glaze.
You could serve the buns at this point whilst they are still warm and sticky but my favourite way to serve them is to leave them to cool entirely before toasting them slightly under the grill and serve with lashings of margarine or butter to melt in.