Traditional Hot Cross Buns
Easter Holidays are almost here! Looking for a fun and yummy activity to keep the kids busy? Looking for a project for a rainy day? Looking for something delicious that you can make by hand?
Not much beats a freshly baked hot cross bun! The homely cinnamon-spicy smell of this traditional recipe - while they bake is worth the effort alone! Perfect to get the kids involved- with a bit of activity and then breaks followed by more activity- it's a fantastic to keep little ones engaged throughout the morning.
What You Need:
3 teaspoons instant or rapid rise yeast (9 grams)
1/2 cup (110g) caster sugar (superfine sugar)
1 1/2 cups (375ml) milk, warm
4 1/4 cups (640g) bread flour (or plain / all purpose)
2 tsp cinnamon powder
2 tsp All Spice
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups (210g) sultanas
1 - 2 oranges, zest only
50g / 3.5 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
For dusting your work surface- 1/4 cup (35g) Extra bread flour
1/2 cup (75g) flour
5 tbsp water
1 tbsp Berenberg Apricot Jam
2 tsp water
What To Do:
Place flour, yeast, sugar, all spice, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl. Briefly mix with stand mixer** fitted with a dough hook**.
Add butter, milk, egg, sultanas and zest.
Standmixer: Mix until a smooth elastic dough forms - 5 minutes on Speed 2 of standmixer. After 1 minute, add extra flour if required, just enough so dough comes away from side of bowl when mixing and doesn't stick terribly to your fingers. (Note 5).
**Hand kneading: Alternatively, dust a work surface with flour and knead by hand for 10 minutes.
Dough is kneaded enough when it's smooth and does not break when stretched.
Leave dough in the bowl, cover with cling wrap and place in a warm, wind free place to rise until doubled in size. This will take anywhere between 30 minutes to 1 1/2 hours depending on how warm it is.
Line a 31.5 x 23.5 cm tray with baking paper with overhang.
Remove cling wrap and punch dough to deflate.
Dust work surface with flour, place dough on work surface, shape into a log - this will deflate the air. Cut into 12 equal pieces.
Take one piece and press down with palm, then use your fingers to gather into a ball, then roll the dough briefly to form a ball. This stretches the dough on one side and that's how I get a nice smooth surface.
Place the ball with the smooth side up on the tray. Repeat with remaining dough. Line them up 3 x 4.
RISE # 2:
Spray a piece of cling wrap lightly with oil (any), then loosely place over the tray.
Return tray to warm place and leaver 30 - 45 minutes, until the dough has risen by about 75% (less than double in size).
Partway through Rise #2, preheat oven to 180°C (all oven types).
Mix flour and water until a thick runny paste forms
Carefully apply- PRO TIP- Spoon into a round 3 mm piping bag or small ziplock bag then snip corner.
Remove the cling wrap and pipe crosses onto the buns. Go slow so it hugs the curves.
Bake for 22 minutes, or until the surface is a deep golden brown. The surface colour is the best test for this recipe.
Meanwhile, place jam and water in a bowl, microwave for 30 seconds. Mix to combine.
Remove buns from oven. Use baking paper overhang to lift buns onto a cooling rack.
Brush with jam mixture while warm. Allow to cool to warm before serving.
Best enjoyed with friends, family, and lashings of butter!