With the supermarkets already gearing up for our next national holiday, Easter, (still eating my Christmas chocolate here!) not only have Easter Eggs been appearing on the shelves, but Hot Cross buns too.
I don’t mind the early appearance of the Hot Cross bun but I prefer my own over shop bought ones when I have the time.
Our favorite recipe is the one from Hugh Fearnley-Whatsit’s book, ‘bread’.
So read the recipe or zip straight down to the end and feast your eyes on these warm beauties, filling the kitchen with their Hot Cross Bun smell!
A Hot Cross bun dough is incredibly sticky to handle and knead so I would recommend the use of a food mixer and dough hook any time, over attempting it by hand.
Here is the recipe taken from the book
250g strong white bread flour
250g plain white bread flour
125ml warm milk and 125ml warm water. I use milk from the fridge and warm it up by adding warm water ( not boiling) from the kettle.
5g of powdered dry yeast from a sachet but I throw the whole 7g in
1 medium egg
50g butter, soft
50g caster sugar
100g mixed dry fruit
Finely grated zest of 1/2 orange. I used satsumas this time
1tsp ground mixed spice
for the crosses, 5g white flour and 100ml water
to finish, apricot jam, warmed and sieved or apricot glaze or marmalade works fine too.
Pop everything apart from the fruit, zest and spice into the mixer bowl, fit your dough hook. I let the machine run on slow for about 10 mins.
Then add your fruit, spice and zest and allow your mixer to combine for about 30 seconds.
You can see that his dough might be a little tricky to handle by hand!
Scrape the dough off the hook, cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and stand in a warm place ( not too warm, not the airing cupboard, just in a warm room is fine) for about an hour.
Look it’s risen!
Scrape out onto a floured side and with floured hands gently knead the dough with your knuckles to push out any air.
Divide the dough into 11 equal pieces.
The recipe says 8 pieces but I find these too big. I also weigh out my dough balls, about 90g each. I find they cook more evenly and also look pleasing to my pedantic eye.
Shape into rounds using floured hands.
Pull the edges of the dough out and then tuck them into the centre. Work all around the dough ball.
Turn them over and with your hands moving over the top of the ball stretch the top surface of the ball out and around the ball to make the surface taut.
Stand on a piece of parchment paper only just about touching each other, and cover again with a clean tea towel for half to a full hour to rise again. Preheat your oven to 200C or gas mark 8 and slip a flat sided baking tray in the oven.
At the end of the rising period mix up the flour and water for the crosses. Pour this thick glue like substance into a small sandwich bag and cut off a corner about 3mm in width.
Have a quick practice in the sink, then run your piping bag right across all the buns in both directions.
Carefully take the hot tray out of the oven and side the parchment paper loaded with dough balls onto the hot tray.
Bake in the oven for 15 to 20 mins.
When a deep brown, remove from the oven and paint on some warm apricot glaze. Transfer to a wire rack to cool!
Anyone else baking this weekend?
Love, Lucie xx