Last year was one of our most memorable Easters. My mother decided to make her first batch of hot cross buns at some godly hour the night before. In the morning we all bit into what resembled hard bullets. They were so bad that even the Labradors wouldn’t go near them!
Yesterday I purposely started to make my first batch. The whole day I was slinging off at mum, reminding her of her misadventures. While I was laughing she was shaking her head, warning me not to act too cocky!
It was necessary that I got them right! In the end I started to get paranoid. Even whilst gardening I raced the batch in the sun just to make sure they fully proved. So to cut a long story short I am happy to announce that this morning we enjoyed fresh hot cross buns smothered in butter.
Let’s put it this way, mum wasn’t a happy chappy!
- • 700g (4 ¾ cups) plain flour
- • ¼ cup caster sugar
- • 1 tbsp. dried yeast
- • 1 heap tbsp. ground cinnamon
- • 1 tsp. allspice (pimento)
- • 2 cups sultanas
- • 1 cup raisins
- • Zest from 2 lemons
- • 300ml full fat milk
- • 100g unsalted butter, roughly chopped
- • 1 egg
- • 50g (¼ cup) flour
- • ¼ cup water
- • 1/3 cup water
- • 2 tbsp. caster sugar
- 1. In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, yeast, spices, dried fruit and zest.
- 2. Heat butter and milk together in a small saucepan until melted.
- 3. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture. Add egg in the centre of the well and using your hands or a spoon slowly combine until the egg is mixed with a bit of the flour. Slowly add milk mixture and gradually combine until mixture forms a sticky dough.
- 4. On a floured surface, knead dough for approximately 10 minutes or until it springs back half way once pressed with the tip of your finger.
- 5. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, wrap and leave in a warm area for at least 40 minutes to allow it to prove (double in size).
- 6. Break dough into approximately 12 portions and knead each piece into a ball.
- 7. Place each ball side by side in a lightly greased 22cm square pan. Cover with cling wrap and leave in a warm place to prove once more for at least 40 minutes.
- 8. Preheat oven to 200°C. For the crosses, combine flour and water until a thick paste forms. Either spread with the tip of your finger or use a small piping bag to line each bun length and side ways to form a cross.
- 9. Bake for 10 minutes and then reduce oven to 180°C and further cook for another 10 minutes or until golden brown.
- 10. In a small saucepan heat water and sugar together until sugar dissolves. Using a tablespoon pour glaze over each bun.
- 11. Transfer buns on a wire rack to cool.
- Substitute currents or sultanas for mixed peel, any dried fruit or chocolate chips.
- Lemon zest can be replaced with orange.
- Create your own flavour combinations!
Happy Easter everyone! I hope you have enjoyed this special day with your loved ones and indulged in plenty of hot cross buns and chocolate!