Yesterday I posted an Argentine Easter cake, but of course I couldn’t miss the chance to post about Hot Cross Buns, which are already populating bakeries and supermarkets all over London.
I’ve made hot cross buns more than once now and I feel pretty confident that anyone can make them successfully just by following the recipe step by step. They don’t take much time (aside from the rising times which can’t be helped) and the house smells deliciously while they bake. Also the home-made version is less doughy that the ones you get at the supermarket. If you have a Gail’s bakery near you and have tried their hot cross buns, this recipe makes buns that are just like those (or even a bit better).
Ps. If you like, you can add orange and lemon zest to make them taste extra fruity.
Ingredients (makes 12 buns):
7 grs. dried yeast.
5 tablespoons lukewarm water
150 ml lukewarm milk
450 grs. strong plain flour
85 grs. caster sugar
1 level teaspoon of salt
2 level teaspoons mixed spice (I used 1 teaspoon cinnamon, half teaspoon ginger and half nutmeg).
60 grs. softened butter
85 grs. currants
30 grs. chopped mixed peel
1 big egg beaten.
To make the crosses:
75 grs. plain flour.
2-3 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon sunflower oil.
For the glaze:
2 tablespoons each of milk and sugar.
On his book “How to bake” Paul Hollywood suggests a different glaze which also sounds good so I’m sharing: 2 tablespoons apricot jam dissolved on 2 tbsp water. Heat until the jam is dissolved and paint your buns with it once they are out of the oven.
1.- Place the instant yeast in a small bowl, add the 5 tablespoons of water, 1 tablespoon of caster sugar and the lukewarm milk. Cover and leave till it froths:
3.- To the flour mixture add the currants, the peel and the sugar. Then make a well in the middle.
4.- Into the well add the yeast mixture and the egg and mix to form a dough. Tip into a lightly floured surface or work inside the bowl if it is big enough. At first the mixture will be sticky, but keep working it and it will turn into a pliable and soft dough.
5.- Your dough has to be soft, so don’t add more flour, rather try to work it carefully for at least 10 minutes till it becomes soft and elastic.
6.- Place the dough into a bowl, cover with cling film or a plastic bag and let it rise for at least an hour, or until it doubles in size.
7.- After an hour, re-knead and divide the dough into 12 equal portions. Shape each portion into a ball. Place, slightly apart, on greased baking sheets and cover. Leave in a warm place for 30 minutes.
Sift the plain flour and add the oil and enough water to create a paste that will hold it’s shape when piped. Spoon into a small piping bag and pipe a cross on top of each bun.
9.- Bake the buns for 20 minutes or until they are golden brown.
10.- Mix the sugar and milk and heat. Brush the buns with this mixture as soon as they leave the oven. If your hot cross buns come out of the oven still a bit pale, just brush them with the milk and popped them back into the oven with the glaze on…they will come out beautiful!
And that’s all! Just 10 steps to home-made, scrumptious, hot cross buns!