Hot Cross Buns are a real treat but we normally only make them at Easter. They are usually available in shops but nothing compares to the delicious flavour of your own homemade buns.
Practice makes perfect so patience and time is needed and you must read the recipe very carefully and have all the ingredients weighed out before you start.
Making Hot Cross Buns can take up almost half a day and working with yeast can be difficult but don’t worry, if they don’t turn out perfect the first time they will still taste delicious when served with some of your favourite homemade jams or jellys. It is a perfect excuse to spend another day in the kitchen learning the technique of bread making.
If you have little people in the house, be sure to include them in the baking process, it’s a joy to see their faces when the dough has risen and of course they will be the first to taste them the moment they are baked.
Hot Cross Buns
1lb 2oz. Strong White Flour
2½oz. Castor Sugar
1½oz. Butter, softened
120ml. Full Fat Milk, at room temperature
120ml. Cooled Water
1 Large or 2 Medium Size Free Range Egg
2oz. Mixed Peel
10g. Instant Yeast
2tsp. Ground Cinnamon
Grated Zest of 2 Oranges
1 Apple, cored and diced with skin on
2½oz. Plain Flour
Apple Jelly to Glaze.
Place the flour in a mixing bowl and add the salt and sugar to one side of the bowl and the yeast to the other, add in the butter, egg, milk and half the water and combine the mixture with your hand, keep adding the water a little at a time until all the mixture is all combined.
You may not need to add all the water or you may need to add a little more, just be sure that all your flour from the sides of the bowl have been brought into the mix and you have a nice dough mixture.
Tip out onto a lightly floured board and knead for about 10 minutes or put into a food mixer with a dough hook and mix for 8 to 10 minutes on a low speed. When the dough feel smooth and silky put it in an oiled bowl, cover with a tea towel and leave to rise for 2 hours, the mixture should double in size.
When the dough is ready place on a lightly floured surface and scatter the sultanas, peel, cinnamon, apple and orange zest on top and knead until all the fruit is evenly distributed through the dough, cover and leave to rise for a further 1 hour.
On a lightly floured board fold the dough inwards repeatedly until all the air is removed from it.
Divide the dough into 12 pieces and roll into balls, divide between 2 baking trays and place closely together on a baking tray lined with baking parchment, cover and leave for 1 hour until the dough has at least doubled in size.
Heat the oven to 220⁰C. For the crosses using the flour and water make a paste and place mixture in a piping bag and pipe the crossed onto the buns.
Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown.
Heat the apple jelly in a saucepan and brush over the buns to glaze.
Place on a wire rack to cool.