When we think of Easter what comes to mind? For me it would have to be autumn colours, painted eggs, long lunches, baking weather, family time, the smell of the fireplace, Kulichi baking in the oven (Orthodox Easter bread) and hot cross buns of course. I normally go to my local deli and buy Hot Cross Buns for Easter but this year I had to learn how to make them for a client of mine.
Like every new recipe I try for the first time I have a mix of emotions. Normally it’s a mix of being excited (of course) and then a tiny bit of being nervous because…where do I start? The first few times I tried making these buns they just didn’t work. I failed miserably…but then after multiple tries I learnt from my mistakes and made them again. They were perfect! And tasted even better after the first few failed ones. Learning how to make a new recipe is extremely satisfying! I’m also looking forward to actually waking up early this Easter and baking some fresh Hot Cross Buns for breakfast.
These hot cross buns are absolutely incredible fresh out of the oven. You can keep the overnight and they will still be fine but it’s best to keep them in a tight plastic bag and then toasted with some butter if you do have them over a few days.
Hot Cross Buns
55 g caster sugar
14 g instant dried yeast
455 g flour (preferably 00), extra for dusting
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp cinnamon
½ whole nutmeg
1 tsp freshly grated ginger
60 g unsalted butter
1 cup sultanas or raisins
2 tbsp plain flour
5-6 tbsp water
½ cup sugar
½ cup water
- Warm the milk in a small pot until luke warm. Remove from the stove top and add the sugar and the yeast. After approximately 5 minutes the mixture should have become thick and frothy (See note below).
- Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small pot and set aside.
- In a large bowl add the sifted flour, spices, fresh ginger and salt then whisk or mix all these ingredients together until evenly spread out then add the melted butter, the egg, the yeast mixture and using a fork mix all of these ingredients together until roughly combined.
- Place the dough mixture out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes. Once the dough is kneaded place into a floured bowl and cover with glad wrap and place into a warm place for 1 hour or until it’s doubled in size.
- After the dough has doubled in size, remove from the bowl and place onto a floured surface. Punch it down once, add the sultanas or raisins and knead for 2 minutes.
- Divide the dough into 12 similar sized shapes. Using your hands roll each piece into a bun, making sure they are all as even as possible.
- Place each bun onto a tray with greased baking paper side by side touching each other (they will help each other rise). Cover with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap for approximately 30 minutes – allowing for the buns to rise again.
- Preheat the oven to 190 degrees while the buns are rising.
- Once the buns have expanded in size again, prepare your white paste mixture by mixing the flour with water, adding more water if necessary to create a thick paste. Transfer this paste into a piping bag or into a snap lock bag and cut a small hole in the corner. Pipe crosses over the hot cross buns (see note below).
- Place into the oven for 25 minutes or until the buns are golden brown.
- Prepare sugar glaze by melting the sugar in some water, adding more sugar if you like a thicker glaze.
- Remove the buns from the oven, and using a brush glaze the buns with the sugar glaze – they will become nice and glossy.
- Serve with butter and enjoy fresh!
- When making the milk and yeast mixture be sure to only add the yeast to luke warm milk, if the milk is too hot, the yeast will not activate correctly and the dough will not expand.
- When piping the mixture rather than piping crosses on each individual bun a good trick is to just continue the piping over all the buns in line so the crosses are even.
Recipe created for Harris Farm Markets