Hot Cross Buns are as synonymous with Easter as Fruit Mince Pies are with Christmas. I cannot imagine Easter Weekend without them! Be sure to also try the recipe for Hot Cross Pain Au Chocolat, an Easter-themed pastry.
500 ml bread flour or cake flour
10 g packet instant yeast
5 ml ground mixed spice
5 ml ground cinnamon
5 ml salt
2.5 ml ground cinnamon
2.5 ml ground nutmeg
1 ml ground cloves
100 ml white sugar
50 g butter
250 ml lukewarm milk
2 extra large eggs
100 g sultanas or raisins
15 ml orange or lemon zest (optional)
750 ml additional cake flour
Piping mixture for crosses
100 ml cake flour
40 g butter
50 ml water
125 ml icing sugar
25 ml milk
- Mix the yeast with the cake flour in a mixing bowl, add all the remaining dry ingredients (except the extra flour) and mix well.
- Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients.
- Add the butter to the milk and pour the milk and the beaten eggs into the well.
- Add sufficient of the extra flour to form a soft yet sticky dough.
- Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes until smooth and elastic or knead the dough for 3 to 4 minutes in an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook.
- Transfer the dough to a floured plastic bowl, cover with a damp cloth and leave in a warm place to rise until doubled in size (about 40 minutes).
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead down the dough for 5 minutes.
- Divide the dough into 20 equal pieces and roll each one into a ball.
- Place the dough balls on a greased baking tray (about 38 cm x 28 cm), leaving a little space (2,5 cm) between each ball for rising.
- For the topping, rub together the flour and butter until crumbly and evenly blended and stir in sufficient of the water to form a smooth paste.
- Spoon the topping into a piping bag fitted with a small, smooth nozzle (e.g. with an opening that is 3 mm in diameter) and pipe a cross onto each bun.
- Place the buns uncovered in a warm protected spot to rise until double in size – ± 30 minutes.
- Bake at 170 ˚C for 20 minutes until golden brown and well risen. Transfer the buns to a cooling rack.
- Mix together the ingredients for the glaze and brush over the slightly warm buns to create a sweet, shiny finish.
- Serve warm with butter and preserves.
Makes 20 buns
Store the cooled buns in an airtight container for up to two days and reheat for a few minutes at 160˚C to serve slightly warm and fresh.
Freeze in an airtight container. Thaw for a short while and reheat as explained above.
Make and bake comfortably in double batches.
– Brush the baked buns with warm honey or syrup.