Happy Easter everyone! I hope you have been enjoying the long weekend. I haven't done much myself as yet, but have plans to go to a farm tomorrow and I've got my fingers crossed to see some lambs and rabbits! Today my boyfriend made a delicious roast dinner for us, whilst I made these Hot Cross Buns. They did take a while to make, which makes them perfect for a lazy Sunday bake. The results are definitely worth the effort - warm, sticky, spiced buns, yum yum. I followed a Paul Hollywood recipe to make the buns as it was my first attempt at making them, but I did make a few changes along the way...
I started with 500g strong white bread flour, 1 sachet yeast, 1 tsp salt and 75g caster sugar in a large bowl. I stirred them together.
In a small pan I heated up 300ml plus 2 tbsp milk, I used semi-skimmed. Once it was hot I took it off the heat, added 50g butter and left it to cool until it was warm enough to dip my fingers in without saying ouch!
I made a well in the flour mixture, and poured in the milk and butter as well as 1 beaten egg. I formed it into a dough, tipped it out onto a flour surface and kneaded for 5 minutes. It was extremely sticky! Hence why there are no photos as my hands and fingers were completely covered in dough goo. After 5 minutes of kneading I put the dough into an oiled bowl, covered it with oiled cling film, and left it in a warm place to rise for 1 hour.
One hour later it had risen beautifully! I added 250g mixed dried fruit, 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon and 1/2 tsp all spice. I would have added more spices if I was at my flat, some nutmeg and ginger too for sure. I kneaded all the fruit it until mixed well, the recovered the oiled bowl with oiled cling film and returned it to a warm place for another 1 hour.
I removed the risen dough from the bowl and on a flour surfaced I cut it up until I had 16 pieces. I cut the dough in half, then each piece in half again and again until I had 16. You can weigh the pieces if you like. Paul's recipe recommends they are 75g each. I rolled them into balls and placed them on lined baking trays. I covered the trays again with oiled cling film, covered with a blanket (or you can use a tea towel) and left for 1 hour.
Just before the hour was up, I made the flour paste for the cross on the buns. I mixed 100g strong white bread flour with 5-6 tbsp water until a thick paste formed. I put it in a piping bag and snipped off the end.
The shaped dough had risen nicely! This is really the best part of making bread for me (well, except eating it).
I used the piping bag to draw the crosses along the shaped dough buns.
I baked the buns on 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6 for 15 - 20 minutes until dark golden brown on top. I almost forgot to take a photo of them as I was so eager to glaze them.
Just before they came out of the oven I warmed up some apricot jam on the hob, you can sieve it too if you want, but I didn't bother. When the buns came out of the oven, I brushed the jam on top to give them a lovely shiny and sticky sweet glaze.
The Hot Cross Buns turned out great, they were baked all the way through and tasted delicious! I scoffed one right after they came out of the oven and I'm looking forward to enjoying one for breakfast tomorrow. I really enjoyed making these and was really proud of how they turned out. It's nice to get the time to make a lengthy bake like this and enjoy the results. You could add different kinds of dried fruits, citrus zest, or even chocolate chips if you wanted, to this recipe for a variety of flavours!
Hot Cross Buns
- 600g Strong white bread flour
- 1 sachet Dried yeast
- 1 tsp Salt
- 75g Caster sugar
- 300ml + 2 tbsp Semi skimmed milk
- 50g Butter
- 250g Mixed dried fruit
- 1 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp Allspice
- 5-6 tbsp Water
- 3 tbsp Apricot jam
- 1 Egg
Stir together 500g of the strong white bread flour, the sachet of yeast, salt and caster sugar in a large bowlIn a small pan heat up the milk, once it was hot I took it off the heat, added the butter and left it to coolMake a well in the flour mixture, and pour in the milk and butter as well as the egg. Form into a dough, tip it out onto a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes, then put the dough into an oiled bowl, cover it with oiled cling film, and leave it in a warm place to rise for 1 hourAdd the mixed dried fruit, cinnamon and allspice to the dough. Knead the dough until all the fruit is mixed well, then place back in the bowl and recover with oiled cling film, return it to a warm place for another 1 hourRemove the risen dough from the bowl and on a floured surface cut it up into 16 pieces, approx 75g each. Roll them into balls and place them onto lined baking trays. Cover the tray with oiled cling film, then a blanket or tea towel and leave to prove for 1 hourMake the flour paste for the cross on the buns. Mix 100g of the strong white bread flour with the water until a thick paste forms. Put it in a piping bag and snip off the endUse the piping bag to draw the crosses along the dough bunsBake the buns on 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6 for 15 - 20 minutes until dark golden brown on topWarm the apricot jam on the hob, and brush the jam on top to give them a lovely shiny and sticky sweet glaze