Hot cross buns

Hot cross buns

Written 4 months ago

A pain in the ass, but oh so worth it. Easter only comes once a year anyhow.

Ingredients

• 500g strong bread flour (12-14% protein) • 300ml full-fat milk, plus 2 tbsp more • 50g butter • 1 tsp salt • 75g caster sugar • 1 tbsp oil • 7g of dried yeast • 1 egg, beaten • 75g raisins • 50g mixed peel (optional, can substitute for raisins) • Zest of 1 orange (optional) • 1 apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped (optional) • 1 tsp ground cinnamon • 75g plain flour, plus extra for dusting • Golden syrup for glazing

Method

• Bring the milk to the boil, then remove from the heat and add the butter. Leave to cool until it reaches hand temperature. • Put the flour, salt, sugar and yeast into a bowl. • Make a well in the centre. Pour in the warm milk and butter mixture, then add the egg. • Using a wooden spoon, mix well, then bring everything together with your hands until you have a sticky dough. • Tip on to a lightly floured surface and knead by holding the dough with one hand and stretching it with the heal of the other hand, then folding it back on itself. Repeat for 5 mins until smooth and elastic. • Put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with oiled cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hr or until doubled in size and a finger pressed into it leaves a dent. • With the dough still in the bowl, tip in the raisins, mixed peel, orange zest, apple and cinnamon. Knead into the dough, making sure everything is well distributed. • Leave to rise for 1 hr more, or until doubled in size, again covered by some well-oiled cling film to stop the dough getting a crust. • Divide the dough into 15 even pieces (about 75g per piece). • Roll each piece into a smooth ball on a lightly floured work surface. • Arrange the buns on one or two baking trays lined with parchment, leaving enough space for the dough to expand. • Cover (but don’t wrap) with more oiled cling film, or a clean tea towel, then set aside to prove for 1 hr more. • Heat oven to 200C (with fan). Mix the flour with about 5 tbsp water to make the paste for the cross – add the water 1 tbsp at a time, so you add just enough for a thick paste. • Spoon into a piping bag with a small nozzle. Pipe a line along each row of buns, then repeat in the other direction to create crosses (see Tip below). • Bake for 10 mins on the middle shelf of the oven, or until golden brown. • While the buns are still warm, brush over with golden syrup, and leave to cool.

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