Hot Cross Buns
Hot Cross Buns
As synonymous with Easter as a chocolate egg, who can resist a toasted hot cross bun slathered with butter? The trouble is homemade buns can be a little scary for novice bakers - just picking a recipe can seem daunting. Fortunately, the cook at Eastbury Kitchen has tried a few recipes for you, and this one comes up trumps for both taste and ease of making. Once you’ve given it a go, you’ll be baking your own for years to come, we promise!!
200 ml whole milk
55 g unsalted butter
2 x 7 g sachets of dried yeast
455 g strong bread flour
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp cinnamon
1 whole nutmeg, for grating
55 g caster sugar
2 balls of stem ginger
1 large free-range egg
2 tablespoons mixed peel
1. Add the milk and 50ml water to a small pan and place over a low heat for a few minutes, or until slightly warm - you should be able to dip your finger in without scalding it.
2. Add the butter to a separate pan and place on a low heat for a few minutes, or until melted, then set aside.
3. Transfer the warmed milk to a medium bowl and stir in the yeast.
4. Sift the flour into a large bowl, then add 1 teaspoon of sea salt, the spices, grated nutmeg and the sugar. Finely chop the stem ginger and stir it into the mix.
5. Make a well in the centre and pour in the melted butter, followed by the yeast extract. In a separate bowl, beat the egg and add it to the bowl.
6. Using a fork, mix well until you have a rough dough, then transfer to a clean flour dusted work surface and knead for about 10 minutes, or until soft and springy.
7. Return the dough to a flour-dusted bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and leave to prove in a warm place for at least an hour, or until doubled in size.
8. Transfer the dough to a clean flour dusted work surface. Knock the air out by bashing it with your fist, then sprinkle over the dried fruit and mixed peel and knead the dough for 1 to two minutes.
8. Preheat the oven to 190℃/375℉/Gas 5. Grease and line a large baking tray.
9. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces and roll each into a ball, evenly spacing them out on the tray as you go.
10. Cover with the tea towel and leave in a warm place for a further 30 minutes, or until doubled in size.
11. Place the plain flour and 2 tablespoons of water and mix to a thick paste.
12. Gently pat down the risen buns then use the batter to carefully trace a cross over the top with a piping bag or spoon.
13. Place the buns into the preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
14. Transfer to wire cooling rack, brush over with the warmed apricot glaze, then leave to cool.