"Hot cross buns...Hot cross buns!" With Easter approaching this weekend it is most definitely time to get making some yummy hot cross buns. This is a perfect recipe to make with you little ones. We cheated and put the mixture into the bread maker to prove... Ingredients... 20g fresh yeast (kept cold) we just used dried. 400g plain flour ½ tsp ground cinnamon ½ tsp freshly ground nutmeg 1 tsp mixed spice 200ml whole milk 70g caster sugar 1 large egg (we used 25ml extra milk instead of an egg) 70g soft unsalted butter (cut the cold butter into 2cm cubes and leave at room temperature for an hour before using) 40g sultanas 40g dry currants 40g dried unsweetened cranberries 70g mixed peel ½ tsp fine sea salt For the egg wash... 2 eggs 1tsp milk For the cross topping... 200g plain flour 230g icing sugar 2 tbsp olive oil 3 tbsp milk For the syrup... 300g caster sugar 200g water 1 whole nutmeg 1 whole star anise 1 whole clove ½ vanilla pod, split lengthways MAKING THE BUNS Sieve the plain flour into a bowl and add the caster sugar. Rub the yeast into the flour and sugar mixture using your fingers (in much the same way that you would rub butter into flour when making crumble). Make a well in the middle of the mixture. Add the cinnamon, nutmeg and mixed spice. Now add the milk and an egg to the centre of the bowl. Begin to bind the mixture together, using your hands, for 4-5 minutes until it forms a rough dough, then add the butter a chunk at a time while kneading the dough. After adding all the butter slowly – it should take about 2-3 minutes – you will have a sticky dough. Continue kneading for 5 minutes more until it is smooth and shiny. Add the salt and fruits and knead for 3 minutes. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and leave at room temperature for 1½ hours, until it grows to almost double in size. Pour your dough on to a lightly floured surface and divide into 20 pieces at 50g each. Roll the dough pieces into shape by rolling them on a surface against your palms to create smooth buns. Arrange the buns on a baking tray lined with baking paper (all the buns on one tray) and make sure you keep an even gap between them. Cover the tray with a clean tea towel and leave to rise at room temperature until almost double in size. When the buns are ready (the sides of each bun should be touching and you almost shouldn’t be able see the tray), make an egg wash by whisking 1 whole egg, 1 egg yolk and a teaspoon of milk. Brush the buns carefully with this egg wash and leave to dry out for 10 minutes. Brush again. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Using a hand whisk, gently combine all the cross topping ingredients into a smooth paste. Fill a plastic piping bag with the mixture and cut a small hole using scissors. Always cut a smaller hole than you think you might need – you can always cut it again if need be, but you can’t make a big hole smaller. Pipe thin crosses on top of the buns on the tray and pop it into the hot oven. Immediately, reduce the oven temperature to 180C/350F/Gas 4 until the buns are baked and golden (20-22 minutes).
Have a wonderful Easter everyone