Every Easter my mother used to make hot cross buns. I remember them being delicious and much better than the purchased ones. This year I decided to try making my own. They turned out quite well although it was a very labor intensive business.
Here’s the recipe I used, which comes from one of New Zealand’s famous cooks, Alison Holst. The recipe is divided into four parts.
1 cup (250 ml/8 fl oz) milk
1/2 cup (125 ml/4 fl oz) hot water
2 Tablespoon sugar
1 Tablespoon dried yeast granules
2 cups (250 g/9 oz) flour
Measure the milk, hot water, and sugar into a bowl. Warm to blood temperature if necessary, then sprinkle the yeast granules on top. Mix together. Stir in the flour, cover with a clean tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place.
100 g (3 1/2 oz) butter
1/2 cup (100 g/ 3 1/2 oz) soft brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 Tablespoon mixed spice
1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 cup mixed dried fruit – sultanas, currents, peel, dried cranberries
2 – 3 cups (250 – 375 g/9 – 13 oz) flour
Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl. Add the mixed spice, nutmeg, vanilla and egg. Once mixed add the dried fruit. When the yeast mixture has doubled in size add it to the creamed butter mix. Add the two – three cups of flour. (You might not need all of this flour. My mixture needed all of the flour). Mix well and tip out onto a floured board. Knead the dough. At first it will be sticky and difficult to work with. Add a little flour if necessary and knead until silky and it springs back if pushed with a finger.
Cut into four then cut each quarter into six. Shape each piece into a ball and place on a greased tray or piece of baking paper. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm place to let the buns rise to twice their original size. This will take from 15 – 45 minutes.
60 g (2 oz) cold butter
1 cup (125 g/4 1/2 oz) flour
milk or beaten egg
Rub the butter into the flour and add enough water to make a stiff dough. Roll out thinly on a floured board, and cut into strips to make crosses for the tops of the buns. Brush the buns with milk or beaten egg then lie the crosses over the buns.
Bake the buns uncovered at 225 C (435 F) for 10 – 12 minutes until lightly browned.
Warm 2 Tablespoon golden syrup and 1 Tablespoon water and brush over the top of the buns as soon as they are taken from the oven. Leave for 3 – 5 minutes and enjoy!
Do you enjoy hot cross buns? Have you tried making them?
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