Breakfast,Snacks,Sweet

Hot Cross Buns

I guess things do change when your house has a mini-human running around! We now take festivals and holidays a lot more seriously, arts and crafts overtake the dining table, and glitter now holds a place in each corner. The loud noises come for free!

So of course, with Easter, a day I had no idea what it was for, suddenly got us making chocolate eggs and creating treasure maps or something of that sort. I went to the next best thing – baking hot cross buns – something I do quite well. Hot Cross Buns are a delicious brioche-like bread buns – a rich texture, that tells you this is more than ‘just bread’ – and i owe that to the addition of eggs. The crosses on top – a simple slurry of flour and water – makes it what it is. I add a heavier amount of cinnamon and nutmeg than most, and of course raisins. Leftover hot cross buns work delightfully for French toast or bread pudding – with an extra helping of bourbon sauce!

The Recipe
Serves yields 12

Ingredients

  • 75g raisins, soaked in 1 cup hot water
  • 175 ml warm milk
  • 2 ½ tsp instant dry yeast
  • 105g castor sugar + ½ tsp
  • 40g butter, soft
  • 2 eggs
  • 520g all purpose flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • generous pinch of nutmeg
  • Slurry: ¼ cup flour + 2-3 tsp water
  • Egg Wash: 1 egg + 2 tsp milk

Instructions

  • Take 50 ml of the milk into a separate bowl and add the ½ tsp sugar and the instant dry yeast and set aside to bloom for 10 minutes
  • Strain the raisins out of the water once the raisins are softened
  • In a big mixing bowl, add the remaining warm milk, butter and sugar and mix until butter has completely melted through
  • In a separate bowl, stir the flour, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg together and set aside
  • Once the yeast has bloomed, add the mixture and the 2 eggs into the milk mixture and stir well
  • Then slowly add the flour, stirring with a wooden spoon to make a dough
  • Then add in the raisins
  • Tip dough over into a clean surface and knead with your hands for at least 4-5 minutes until the dough easily springs back upon touch
  • Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover with a cloth and place in a warm place for 1 hour 30 minutes or until dough doubles
  • Once the dough has doubled, tip the dough over onto a clean surface and divide into 12 equal pieces
  • Make round bun balls, pinch the edges to ensure a smooth surface and place in a greased tin, leaving a little space between each bun
  • Cover the tin with greased cling film or cloth and set in a warm place to rise a second time for 30 minutes
  • In the meantime, whisk together the flour and water slurry (it should be a thick paste like) and put into a plastic zip-lock or piping bag and whisk together the egg wash
  • Preheat the oven to 180C
  • Once the buns have risen, generously brush the egg wash over each bun
  • Then pipe the flour slurry like a cross over each bun
  • Bake for 15-17 minutes in the oven
  • Remove from the oven and cool before serving