Easter is approaching which can only mean more reasons to bake unnecessarily 🙂
This week for the blog, I have baked Hot Cross Buns.
If you follow me on Instagram (here – do come over and say hi if you aren’t already!), you’ll know I made these a little while back and they are now LONG GONE.
This batch of Hot Cross Buns are a far cry away from my first attempt a few years ago (check out my amateur attempt here!). I am actually really pleased with my progress and blogging my journey means I have little snippets like this to see how far I have come.
These Hot Cross Buns were fluffy, full of spice and had a gorgeous golden coat.
I used Jamie Oliver’s recipe as a starting point (here) and then adapted it slightly. All the details are below in case you fancy giving it a go. The process is essentially the same as Jamie’s – he absolutely knows best! – but I have played with the flour type and flavouring a tad…
200 ml semi-skimmed milk
55 g unsalted butter
2 x 7g sachet dried yeast
350g strong bread flour
150g plain flour, plus 4 tablespoons and extra for dusting
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ whole nutmeg
55 g caster sugar
1 large egg, beaten
75g dried cranberries
grated rind of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons mixed peel
runny honey , to glaze
Warm through the milk and water in a small saucepan. Once warmed, take off the heat and stir in the yeast. Let this sit aside for a few minutes for the yeast to activate.
Melt the butter in a separate saucepan, then take it off the heat and let it cool slightly. Sift together all the dry ingredients into a large bowl and make a well. Pour in the melted butter, followed by the yeast mixture, then the beaten egg.
Combined into a dough (I used my stand mixture and dough hook to bring the mixture together but you could you use a fork, as Jamie suggests, or your hands. This took around 5 mins for me – allow longer if you aren’t using a machine! Firstly it slowly mixed all the ingredients together, and then started to work the dough into a smooth pliable texture once it had all combined.) and then cover and let it rise somewhere warm until it has doubled in size.
Knock out the air, tip out onto a floured surface, sprinkle the cranberries, grated rind and mixed peel on top and knead for a few minutes. Split the dough into 12 roughly equal pieces and roll into ball shapes. These should then be put on a baking paper lined tray with a dish cloth over the top to let them rise once more.
Preheat the oven whilst they finish their last rise (Jamie suggests 190 degrees which I replicated) and make the runny gloop (technical term right there…) for the crosses. To do this, mix together the 4 tablespoons of plain flour with around 3 tablespoons of water. You are looking for a thick paste that you can pipe out but isn’t too solid. Add a little more water or flour until you get it right.
Once the buns have plumped from their last prove, pipe across a the “X” and then bake until a deep golden colour (mine took roughly 25 minutes). To finish, brush with the honey and let them cool.
An improvement from the first lot, I’d say. What do you think?
Are you baking anything for Easter?