Hot Cross Buns

This was my breakfast, lunch, and dinner and I enjoyed every crumb of it.

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It’s Easter! That means that all my friends and flatmates are either back home or travelling, leaving me to eat all my baked goods by myself. 😦

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Or 🙂 depending on how hungry I’m feeling.

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The first baked good that I think of when it comes to Easter is hot cross buns. I just love a good enriched bread with pockets of sweet fruit throughout. The jam used to glaze the buns also gives the bread a lovely shine, and makes eating the bread a fun, sticky affair.

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The bread is AMAZING slathered with butter, and I do mean slathered. As if the bread’s not enriched enough already I love cutting a slice of cold, unsalted butter to eat with the bread.

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This recipe is adapted from a Paul Hollywood recipe with minor changes (basically just switching orange zest for lemon zest, switching sultanas for raisins, and the type of jam used).

Ingredients (makes 12 medium-sized buns)

  • 330ml full-fat milk
  • 50g butter
  • 500g strong bread flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 70g caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil (for oiling the bowl)
  • 7g instant yeast (1 sachet)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 75g raisins
  • 50g mixed peel
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 apple (peeled, cored, and finely chopped)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 75g plain flour (for making the cross)
  • 3 tbsp jam (convention is apricot jam but I just used whatever jam was in the fridge)

Method

  1. Bring the milk to the boil, then remove from heat and add the butter to melt the butter. Leave to cool until it’s about body temperature.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the flour, salt, sugar and yeast. When adding the ingredients to the bowl, add the yeast on the opposite side of the salt and sugar since the latter two could retard the yeast.
  3. Make a well in the center and pour in the warm milk and butter mixture. Then add the beaten egg. Mix well.
  4. Knead on a lightly floured surface until the dough is smooth and elastic. It might be sticky at first but just keep kneading until it comes together.
  5. Put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with oiled cling film. Leave to rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  6. Mix the dough with the sultanas, mixed peel, lemon zest, apple, and cinnamon. Knead into the dough, making sure everything is evenly distributed. Cover and leave to rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  7. Divide the dough into 100g portions to make 12 rolls. Shape each dough into a ball by pulling on the top surface to create a smooth top. Arrange the buns on a baking tray, leaving some space between them for expansion. Cover with oiled cling film and leave to rise for 1 hour more.
  8. To prepare the paste to make the cross, mix the 75g of plain flour with about 5 tbsp of water, adding the water 1 tbsp at a time so you just get a thick paste. Place the flour mixture into a piping bag and pipe a cross pattern onto the top of the bun once they are done with the final proof.
  9. Bake at 200°C for 20 mins until golden-brown.
  10. Gently heat the jam until it’s more runny, then sieve it to get rid of any chunks/seeds. When the bread and jam is still warm, brush the jam over the top of the buns and leave to cool.

Notes

  • If you don’t have a piping bag you can just use a zip-lock bag with a corner cut off.
  • Presentation-wise, try not to get any bits of fruit under the cross when piping since that can cause the cross to go wonky.
  • Any raisins left on top of the bun are going to burn. Speaking of which, I have no idea what the difference between raisins and sultanas are. The ones I used kind of look like sultanas but says raisin on the packaging so eh, use whatever you like.
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