Seeing as Easter is just around the corner, why don’t you give these easy hot cross buns a go? I promise, they’ll beat the ones you can buy at the supermarkets.
If you like hot cross buns, this is the recipe for you. Although these are more traditionally eaten on Good Friday, you can get a practice batch or two made so you can serve up the perfect ones when the time comes.
If you don’t know what a hot cross bun is, I’ll give you a brief rundown. They are basically a sweet bun, which is spiced and studded with dried fruit. They are traditionally eaten on Good Friday to celebrate the end of Lent – the cross on top of the bun is to represent the crucifixion of Jesus.
When you consider all of what’s going on in the world at the moment, making a batch of these up to be enjoyed with your friends and family, may just be the best idea, especially if you’re in isolation.
Anyway, let’s get started, shall we?
500g Strong bread flour.
50g Fresh yeast.
75g Granulated sugar.
175ml Water, warm.
175g Dried fruit.
2-3 tsp Ground mixed spice
Small amount of flour.
Water (as much as needed).
Before you get into the baking, it’s best to do some prep. Start by weighing up all your ingredients, getting your equipment such as your mixer ready and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
Into your mixing bowl, place the strong bread flour along with the salt and mix the two together until they are well combined.
Next, you can go ahead and add in the yeast, butter, granulated sugar, egg, water and ground mixed spice.
Mix on a low speed until a clear dough has formed. Then you can go ahead and add the dried fruit and mix until it’s fairly distributed into the dough (try not to over mix as it may crush the fruit).
Flour your surface with bread flour and pie the dough a brief knead, then go ahead and round it off and place into an oiled bowl and cover with clingfilm.
Allow the dough to proof for about an hour or until roughly doubled in size. If possible, place the dough somewhere warm, it will help the yeast work.
While you’re waiting for your dough to proof, you can have a little tidy up and wash up the dishes. It will save you time later on plus it doesn’t hurt to be organised.
Once the dough has proofed, flour your surface and knock the dough back. This is simply the process of removing the gases that have built up in the dough during the first proof.
Shape the dough off into a ball shape and weigh it. Take that weight and divide it by 12, so for me it was 90g per bun. Scale off dough off at 90g each (make sure to keep the dough covered, to prevent it skinning over).
Round the balls of dough off, so they are more rounded and bun shaped, if that makes sense. Place onto a standard size baking tray, which has been lined and place them in a 3 across by 4 down format, this way, they’ll batch up a little while baking.
Give the dough room to proof up, so make sure the spacing between the balls of dough is roughly equal. Now is the perfect time to consider preheating your oven to 220˚c/430˚f.
Cover them with some clingfilm and allow to proof up a second time for around 30-45 minutes or until they have proofed up to be touching/batching.
While the buns are proofing, now is the best time to make the cross paste (which is really easy). Into a mixing bowl, place a some bread flour and add a small amount of water and mix until a thick but pliable paste is formed. I recommend adding a little water to start with as you can always add more but can’t take away.
Place the paste into a piping bag, not fitted with a nozzle (you’ll just snip the end off later, once it’s needed.
Once the buns are proofed, remove the clingfilm from on the buns, then you can take your piping bag with the paste in, and cut a small hole in the end. Pipe a line through the centre going horizontally and vertically.
Place the buns into the preheated oven and bake for 14-16 minutes or until they are golden brown.
While they are in the oven baking, you can quickly make the glaze. Into a bowl place equal parts boiling water and honey and give it a mix until combined. You’ll want to have this made just in advance as it goes on the buns while hot.
Now that they are baked, remove from the oven and straightaway brush the glaze over, then allow to cool for 5 minutes on the tray before transferring to a cooling rack to cool fully.
That’s how you make hot cross buns, pretty easy right? with a little time, you can have these Easter favourites homemade. Is there anything better than homemade bread?
So, that’s all for today guys, I hope you enjoyed. If you did, don’t forget to share this recipe with your family and friends and enjoy it. I’ll be back soon with another blog post and YouTube video, so join me then. In the meanwhile, don’t forget to check out my Instagram and Twitter. The YouTube video will be linked down below.