Saturday 15 April 2017

Hot Cross Buns

I did a couple of variants of these last year...decided to revisit them this year, with more knowledge I hoped I could refine them a little. These are literally my favouritest part of Easter, even moreso than the chocolate and sweets...nothing quite like toasted, buttered hot cross buns.

The main things I tweaks from the previous attempts was the amount of flour (mainly to bring it in line with the standard 500g batches that seem to be the default for bread), and rather than separate dried fruit and peel, I used mixed dried fruit. I put in more spices (you can never have too much cinnamon!), and generally I'm a bit better at getting dough consistency right now. The end results were pretty good, and are going down well!

Hot Cross Buns - Recipe

Dough Ingredients

  • 500g strong white flour
  • 5g salt
  • 5g ground cinnamon
  • 3g mixed spice
  • 2g ground nutmeg
  • 8g fast-action yeast
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 150g milk
  • Approx 150ml warm water
  • 50g butter
  • 1 egg
  • 140g mixed dried fruit
  • Sunflower Oil
1) Place the flour, spices, salt, yeast and sugar in a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment

2) Place the milk in a jug, and heat in the microwave until luke-warm

3) Place the butter in a small bowl and microwave until just melted

4) Crack the egg into the milk

5) Add the melted butter to the milk

6) Whisk the egg mixture until smooth

7) Add the egg mixture to the stand mixer bowl, and begin mixing

8) Slowly add the water until a soft dough forms. You may not need all the water

9) Mex for 3-4 minutes until the dough begins to go smooth

10) Add the fruit to the stand mixer, and continue to mix for 7-8 minutes

11) Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled container, and leave to prove until tripled in size

12) Once proved, turn out onto a lightly oiled surface

13) Line a large baking sheet with baking parchment

14) Knock back the dough, and split into 12 equal parts (I did this by weight, with each chunk being ~85g)

15) Roll each piece into a firm ball, and place onto tee baking parchment well spaced

16) Brush the balls with sunflower oil...this will stop them sticking together as they rise again, and also provide a good surface

17) Cover and leave to prove until doubled in size. While they are proving, make the pastry for the crosses

Pastry Ingredients

  • 50g plain flour
  • 25g butter
  • 10-20ml chilled water
1) place the flour and butter in a small mixing bowl

2) Rub the butter into the flour until you have the consistency of breadcrumbs

3) Slowly add the water while mixing with your fingers until a dough forms. You may not need all the water

4) Knead the dough a few times, then flatten into a disc, wrap in clingfilm, and chill in the fridge for 10 minutes

5) Roll the dough out on a slightly floured surface. You want the dough very thin (~1-2mm(, and you want a rectangle about 24cm x 15cm at least

6) Cut 24 strips that are at least 15cm long and 5-8mm wide

7) Lay these on the risen buns so they form a cross pattern. Trim the pastry strips to length, and tuck the ends underneath the buns

8) Pre-heat the oven to 190'C

9) Place the baking tray in the oven for 13-14 minutes. place 250ml of water in a tray at the bottom

10) While the buns are baking, make the glaze

Glaze Ingredients

  • 20g caster sugar
  • 20g water

1) Place the sugar and water in a small microwaveable bowl

2) Heat the sugar mixture for 30 seconds in a microwave, and then stir thoroughly

3) Heat for another20 seconds, and stir again

4) just before using, heat for another 10-15 seconds, and then stir

5) When you remove the buns from the oven, use a pastry brush to glaze them generously with the sugar mixture

6) Split the buns if they have touched, and place on a wire rack to cool