One of my favourite things about Easter is Hot Cross Buns. A warm spiced bun, soft on the inside, enjoyed with some melted butter and sweet jam. Perfect with a cup of tea or coffee.
This year I had a go at baking some myself as part of the Show Us Your Buns Challenge by Cowcross Yards. They took a good few hours to make, but they were fun to bake, and I was pleased with the results. My buns were delicious! See here the recipe I used from Mary Berry:
Ingredients for Hot Cross Buns (Makes 12)
- 500g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
- 75g caster sugar
- 2 tsp mixed spice powder
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 lemon, finely grated zest only
- 10g salt
- 10g fast-action dried yeast
- 40g butter
- 300ml milk
- 1 free-range egg, beaten
- 200g Mixed Dried Fruit
- oil, for greasing
For the topping
- 75g plain flour
- 2 tbsp golden syrup, for glazing
How to Make
- Put the flour, sugar, spices and lemon zest into a large bowl and mix together. Then add the salt and yeast, placing them on opposite sides of the bowl.
- Melt the butter in a pan and warm the milk in a separate pan. Add the butter and half the warm milk to the dry ingredients. Add the egg and use your hands to bring the mixture together, incorporating the flour from the edges of the bowl as you go. Gradually add the remaining milk, to form a soft pliable dough (you may not need all of the milk).
- Tip the dough out on to a lightly floured work surface. Knead for 5 minutes then add the dried fruits and continue to knead for another 5 minutes. Lightly knead until silky and elastic and forming a smooth ball. If kneading by hand, think of it as moving the dough across the table/board, be light fingered with it. The kneading can also be done in a food mixer with a dough hook.
- Oil a bowl and place the dough in a bowl, cover with cling film and leave to rest in a warm place for about 1½ hours or until doubled in size.
- Knead again on a floured surface to get any air out. Then return to the bowl to rest again for 1 hour.
- Turn the dough out on to a floured surface and divide into 12 balls. Line 1-2 baking trays with paper and place the balls on the tray, placing them fairly close together and flattening them slightly.
- Slip each baking tray into a large clean polythene bag, making sure the bag doesn’t touch the buns. Leave for 40-60 minutes until the buns have doubled in size.
- Preheat the oven to 220C/200C Fan/Gas 7.
- For the topping, add the flour to a bowl with 100ml/3½fl oz water. Mix together to make a paste and spoon into the icing bag.
- When the buns have risen remove the polythene bags and pipe a cross on each bun. Bake for 15-20 minutes until pale golden-brown, turning the baking trays round halfway through if necessary.
- Melt the golden syrup in a pan and while the buns are still warm, brush the buns with a little syrup to give a nice shine, before setting aside to cool on a wire rack.
I like to enjoy my hot cross buns with some melted butter and Bonne Maman Jam.
If you can’t manage to eat all 12 while they’re fresh, they keep in the freezer for up to a month.
See here for more recipes from the Very Hungry Charlotte.