Hot Cross Buns

Easter is just around the corner, so here is my version of the noble hot cross bun. Better late than not at all. As you would imagine these are great fresh or toasted. With the requisite amount of butter that the season demands. Enjoy at any time of the year by leaving the crosses of it isn’t Easter. 

Serves: Makes 10 buns
Cooking Time: Total time – around 3 hours from start to finish


Ingredients

+ 350 g strong white bread flour
+ 150 g rye flour
+ 125 ml warm water
+ 125 ml warm milk
+ 5 g powdered dried yeast
+ 10 g salt
+ 50 g brown sugar
+ 1 medium egg
+ 50 g butter
+ 100 g raisins, currents or sultanas (or a mixture)
+ Finely grated zest of 1/2 orange or lemon
+ 3 teaspoons ground mixed spice

For the crosses:
+ 50 g plain white flour
+ 100 ml water
+ Touch of vegetable oil

To finish:
+ 1 tablespoon jam, sieved *

+ 1 tablespoon water
* or you can glaze with a 50/50 combination of water and sugar if you have run out of jam

Method

If you have a food mixer, combine the flours, water, milk, yeast, salt and sugar in the bowl. Add the egg and butter, and mix to a sticky dough using the dough hook. Add the dried fruit, zest and spice and knead on a low speed until silky and smooth. You can do this by hand, just note that it is a rather sticky dough. Place dough in a bowl, cover and leave to rise in a warm place for about 1 hour, or until doubled in size.

Knock back the risen dough and divide into 10 even pieces. Shape into rounds, place on a floured board. Dust the tops with extra flour. Cover with a warm damp tea towel and leave to prove for around half an hour, or until roughly doubled in size.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200°C. Place baking tray in over to warm.

To make the crosses, whisk together the flour, water and touch of oil until smooth. Transfer paste to a piping bag (or a plastic freezer bag with the corner snipped off). Transfer risen buns to your hot baking tray and pipe a cross on top of each one. I find it easiest to go all the way up, then all the way back down across all your buns as if you were drawing a grid to get smoother straight lines. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes. Place your risen dough balls close together so they will support each other as they rise, and bake. 

Meanwhile, melt the jam with the water in a small pan. Brush the glaze over the buns as you take them from the oven. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. 

Original recipe sourced from River Cottage Bread

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