Hot Cross Buns

Hola! CakeyKate is on holiday! I’m in Spain, it’s raining at the moment, but I’m fairly sure it will brighten up….. otherwise there may well be more baking to follow.

Luckily, my mum has equipped our house well with baking equipment and supplies, and had actually already made two batches of these hot cross buns. They do take a little while to prove (or rise) so they are ideal for lazy easter days when the only other thing on your to-do list is buy more wine.

Ingredients, Makes 12 buns
625g strong white flour
1 tsp salt
3 tsp mixed spice
45g unsalted butter, cut into cubes
85g sugar
zest of 1 lemon and 1 orange
7g sachet of Easy Bake yeast, or 1½tsp fast action yeast
1 egg
275ml tepid milk
200g mixed dried fruit
For the cross:
2 tbspn plain flour
2 tbspn cold water
1 tbspn golden syrup or honey for glazing

For the buns, sieve the flour, salt and mixed spice into a large mixing bowl. Rub in the butter using your fingertips. Stir in the sugar, zests and yeast. Stir in the dried fruit.

Beat the egg and mix with the milk (the milk should be warm but not hot). Add the egg and milk to the flour and mix to form a soft, pliable dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.

My mum helping me with the kneading

Grease a large mixing bowl with butter, shape the dough into a ball and place it in the bowl. Cover with a tea towel or cling film and place in a warm place for an hour to prove.

Preheat the oven to 240°C or 220°C  for a fan oven.

Once the dough is well risen, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knock back the dough by lightly kneading it. Divide it into 12 equal pieces, roll each piece into a ball and flatten slightly with the palms of your hands. Place on a well greased baking tray, or one lined with greaseproof paper and cover with oiled cling film (spread a large piece of cling film on a work surface and spread thinly with oil, using your hand to spread it. Place this oil side down onto the buns and tuck round them.) Put in the warm place again for another 40 mins to an hour.

For the crosses, put the plain flour in a small bowl, make a well in the centre and add the water. Mix the two by slowly incorporating the flour into the water to prevent lumps. You should have a smooth, thin paste.

Place in a small piping bag and snip a very small hole (2mm across) in the end. When the buns are ready to cook, pipe the flour and water paste in crosses on top of each bun.

Place in the oven and cook for 10 – 15 mins, until they are a uniform golden colour. Heat the golden syrup or honey in the microwave for a few seconds, and as soon as the buns are out of the oven, brush them generously with the syrup.

Cool on a rack and enjoy warm with butter!


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