March
25th 2007
Hot Cross Buns

Posted under Baking & Bread

Ingredients:
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
30g compressed yeast (fresh) or 14g (2 sachets) instant yeast
4 cups (500g) Bread flour or white flour (if using white flour, add 1/2 tbsp flour improver)
1 level teaspoon mixed spice (or more to taste)
1/2 teaspoon salt
60g butter
1/2 cup caster sugar or brown sugar (best flavour)
1 cup sultanas
2 1/2 level teaspoons chopped mixed peel
1 egg
extra flour for kneading

Method:
1. Have 2 large mixing bowls ready, clean and dry. Grease 1 bowl and set aside. Grease a baking tray.

2. Place milk in a small saucepan and heat to simmering. Pour into a measuring cup. Add cold water to make 1 cup of liquid.

3. Crumble yeast into a small bowl. Add lukewarm milk mixture and stir well. Cover with plastic.

4. Sift flour, spice and salt into the ungreased large mixing bowl. Rub in butter with fingertips. Add sugar, sultanas and peel. Make a well in the centre. Pour in yeast, milk mixture and unbeaten egg. Mix into a soft dough. Empty out onto a well floured surface.

5. Knead the dough lightly and well, using extra flour if necessary. Place the dough in the greased mixing bowl, rounded side of dough up. Cover with plastic wrap or clean dry tea towel. Stand in a warm place, free of draughts, (on top of stove is best) until dough is doubled in bulk. This can take between 3/4 hour to 1 1/2 hours, depending on the temperature. Punch down and knead the dough well.

6. Preheat oven to 200 degrees C (hot). Remove dough mixture from bowl. Divide into 15 even sized portions. Knead each one into a round bun. Arrange on a greased baking tray. Cover with a clean dry tea towel and leave to rise again in a warm place until double in size, approximately 20 to 30 minutes. Mark crosses with the back of a knife or pipe with special cross mixture.

7. Bake in a hot oven for about 25 minutes or until brown on top. Remove from oven, and brush glaze mixture on immediately. Serve buns warm with butter. Also good with honey or marmalade.

Glaze
While buns are cooking, heat I tablespoon sugar, and 1 tablespoon water with a good pinch of gelatine in a small saucepan.
Add a strip of lemon skin and stir to dissolve the sugar.

Special Cross Mixture
Mix 2 level tablespoons of self raising flour with about 2 tablespoons cold water to a smooth paste. Pipe mixture onto buns before baking.

Notes
The recipe originally called for the hot cross buns to be baked at 220 degrees C. I only baked them at 200 degrees C in my oven for 25 mins and they turned out fine, so the recipe above has been modified.

If you’re planning to line the baking tray, I found greaseproof paper worked better than foil (the base of the bread did not burn with greaseproof paper).

Hot Cross Buns

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