Soft, fruity and perfectly spiced, hot cross buns are traditionally eaten on Good Friday and Easter, but they’re also perfect for an afternoon tea or breakfast. There are many superstitions surrounding these lovely buns: Like protecting the kitchen from fire and ensuring that all baked breads will turn out perfectly. Whatever the buns’ origin, they are good enough to bake year round. The dough is easy to make and handles well, and the buns are scrumptious with a delicate balance of spices and sweetness. Just make sure to serve them hot!
Ingredients list for the hot cross buns
- 2/5 cup (80g) of brown sugar
- 4 tbsp (60ml) of hot water
- 0.3 oz (7g) of fresh baker’s yeast (or 0.7 oz – 20g of dried yeast )
- 1/2 cup (125ml) warm milk
- 1 1/4 oz (35g) butter (or 1 oz – 30g of olive oil)
- 4 cups (400g) all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves powder
- 1 teaspoon salt (unrefined if possible)
- 3 1/2 oz (100g) sultanas raisins
- 3 1/2 oz (100g) of golden raisins
- 1 1/3 oz (40g) candied citrus peel, cut into small cubes
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 coffeespoon natural vanilla extract (or 1 coffeespoon vanilla powder)
- 3 1/2 oz (100g) apricot or plum jam
- 2 tablespoons flour
1. Mix 1 pinch of sugar and warm water in a large bowl. Add baker’s yeast (or dried yeast) , stir and let stand a few minutes to infuse. In another bowl, combine flour and all other ingredients, oil or melted butter.
2. Add the yeast and knead a little. The dough will be soft and sticky at this point. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rest for 45 minutes at room temperature or 30 minutes in the oven at minimum temperature.
3. Divide the dough into 8 portions. Place them on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Cover with a dish towel and let rest for 1h30 until the Cross Buns double in volume.
4. Preheat oven to 360°F (180°C).
5. Combine 1 cup (100g) flour with 2 or 3 tablespoons of water to make a thick paste. Put in a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip .
6. Draw a cross on top of each bun. Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
7. Heat the jam one minute over low heat with 2 tablespoons of water. Stir regularly. Filter through a sieve and brush each bun with a brush to make a beautiful glaze. It’s ready!
Note: The secret to a good-looking hot cross bun is making your flour paste nice and thick so that the crosses really stand out against the golden buns.
(Image by cuisipat)