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Home-made Hot Cross Buns

Easter won’t be Easter without Hot Cross Buns.  This version has a combination of raisins and chocolate chips and less spiced than usual (by special request from my kids).

10 g packet instant yeast
500 ml bread flour or cake flour
5 ml ground mixed spice
5 ml ground cinnamon
5 ml salt
100 ml white or brown sugar
50 g butter, room temperature
250 ml lukewarm milk
2 extra large eggs
50 g chocolate chips (optional)
100 g sultanas or raisins
15 ml orange or lemon zest (optional)
500 ml additional bread or cake flour

Piping mixture for crosses
100 ml cake flour
40 g butter
50 ml water

Icing glaze
125 ml icing sugar
25 ml milk

  1. Combine the dry ingredients, except the extra flour, in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix well with the “K” attachment.
  2. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the butter, milk and eggs.  Mix well.
  3. Add 250 ml of the extra flour and mix well.   It is important to add the flour 50 ml at a time until the dough is the right consistency.  The dough is not sticky anymore.
  4. Knead the dough for 3 to 4 minutes with the dough hook attachment.
  5. Cover the bowl with cling wrap and set it aside to rise until double the size in a warm place (it will take about 40 minutes).
  6. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead down the dough for 5 minutes.
  7. Divide the dough into 16 equal pieces and roll each piece of dough into a ball.
  8. Place the dough balls on a baking tray (about 38 cm x 28 cm) lined with a Wizbake baking sheet.
  9. Leave about 1 cm between each ball for rising.
  10. Let the buns rise until double in size (about 40 minutes).
  11. Make the topping while the dough is proving.  Rub together the flour and butter until crumbly. Add enough of the water to form a smooth paste.
  12. Spoon the topping into a piping bag fitted with a small, smooth nozzle (e.g. with an opening that is 5 mm in diameter) and pipe a continuous line onto each row of buns.
  13. Complete the crosses by piping in the other direction in the same manner.
  14. Bake the buns at 170 ˚C for 20 minutes or until golden brown and well risen.
  15. Transfer the buns to a cooling rack.
  16. Mix together the ingredients for the glaze and brush over the slightly warm buns to create a sweet, shiny finish.
  17. Serve the buns warm with butter and preserves.

Makes 16 medium-sized buns.

Notes

  • Home-baked goods don’t have a long “shelf-life”, so eat the buns on the day.
  • These buns can be frozen with great success.  Just reheat them in an oven preheated to 160 ˚C for about 10 minutes.

Also see the Carolié de Koster‘s recipe for Hot Cross Buns from the Art Of Cooking recipe book (page 862).

The dough after being formed in to equal-sized buns
The buns after the piping mixture has been piped horizontally
The buns after the crosses have been completed
Freshly baked hot cross buns
After the buns have been brushed with the glaze.