Happy almost Easter!
Hot cross buns are one of my abs0lute favourite things about this time of year. They’re so delicious freshly toasted with butter, and while a lot of shop bought buns are good, there’s nothing quite like home made! They’re actually very easy t0 make. The recipe below comes from Amy, who has a wonderful food blog called She Cooks She Eats. Amy’s incredibly talented and taught me how to make puff pastry! She’s much better at yeasty things than me so I know you’re in safe hands with this recipe!
For the buns
- 350g strong white bread flour
- 100g wholemeal flour
- 50g caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 2 teaspoons of mixed spice
- 1 teaspoon of nutmeg
- 1 x 7g sachet of easy-bake dried yeast
- 50g cold unsalted butter
- 150g mixed dried fruit
- 200ml lukewarm milk
- 2 eggs
- 5 tablespoons of strong white bread flour
- 4 tablespoons of milk
- 2 tablespoons of caster sugar
- Sieve the flours into a bowl to aerate it (You’ll end up with bits in the bottom of the sieve from the wholemeal flour – just tip those in).
- Add the sugar, salt, spices and yeast to the flour and stir well to combine.
- Dice the butter and rub it in using the tips of your fingers. When the mix looks like very fine crumbs, add the dried fruit and stir to mix well.
- Make a well in the centre of the bowl. Lightly beat the eggs and tip them into the well along with the milk. Use your hand to draw the flour from the outside of the bowl into the well. Keep doing this until you have a very moist dough.
- Knead the dough on a lightly floured work surface for ten minutes, adding extra flour if your dough is too sticky (I sometimes have to add a LOT of extra flour) but only if you need it — you don’t want the dough to dry out.
- If you’re not sure how to knead, check out this video.
- When your dough is smooth and very elastic, pop it back in the bowl, cover with a damp tea-towel and leave in a warm place for an hour. It should have doubled in size. If not, just leave it in for a wee bit longer.
- Punch your risen dough so it deflates. Turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface and divide into twelve equally sized balls. Set equally spaced apart on a baking tray lined with baking parchment.
- Slip inside a large plastic bag (making sure the plastic doesn’t touch the dough) and pop back in the warm place until it’s doubled in size again — it should take another hour or so.
- Pre-heat the oven to 200°C and make the cross. Mix the flour with water until it makes a thick, pipe-able paste (between 2-5 tablespoons of water). Put in a piping bag/sandwich bag with the tip snipped off and pipe a cross onto each bun.
- Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes until the buns are brown. If they look dry, don’t worry.
- Whilst they’re baking, mix the milk and sugar in a saucepan and put over the heat. Bring to the boil (being careful not to let it bubble over), let it cook for a minute and then turn off the heat.
- As soon as the buns are cooked, glaze them with the sugar-milk mixture.
- Let them cool and have them however you like — dripping with butter, smeared with jam and cream, toasted, whatever.
Tip from Ashley
These hot cross buns are absolutely gorgeous on when warm and fresh from the oven, but they’re also amazing toasted. Make sure you have a toaster with wide slots. I have this cute cream one from Sabichi and it’s got a bagel function that’s perfect for hot cross buns. Toast on the lowest setting so you don’t burn the tops. Alternatively, you can grill them. Just be sure to flip halfway through and keep a close eye on them! Serve with lashings of butter for the perfect tea time treat!