Hot cross buns are traditionally eaten on good Friday at Easter, but here in the UK you can find them in supermarkets pretty much all year long.
I have made them quite a few times but I normally try to create new flavour combination, but this time I wanted to go back to basics and make some really good traditional ones.
obviously I had to make them my own in some way so I soaked the raisins over night in chai tea and lemon.
The best way to eat hot cross buns has to be toasted in the oven and served warm and slathered with butter. We buy so many of them leading up to Easter, so I really wanted to make some hot cross buns at home that tasted just like one ones we buy from the shops. I hadn’t managed it before, there always seemed to be something missing.
I’m so happy that I managed to finally get it right, my partner said they tasted just like/if not better than the ones we usually get.
Any bread recipe can be time consuming, but its always worth the labour of love when you get to enjoy them in the end trust me.
To make them I use my stand mixer with the dough hook as its easier, if I make them by hand I end up making the biggest mess and get flour everywhere. Plus using a stand mixer helps the fruit be more evenly distributed too.
Enriched dough can take a bit more time to rise, and needs a little more yeast so I used 14g rather than the 7g that I would use in a regular loaf.
I decided to make some orange whipped butter to spread on them too, it basically consisted of orange zest whipped into some softened butter, it was heavenly.
The amount of flour I used ended up being a bit more than 500g. I added a little more flour because I wanted it to be more workable when I added the fruit.
You don’t want the dough to be too stiff and adding more flour can really effect the consistency of the dough so just add a spoonful extra at a time if you need it until you get a really nice soft dough.
Certain brands of flours all react differently to liquid so you may find you don’t need to add any or you may find you need to add quite a bit, its hard to give an exact measurement with bread.
- 500g strong plain flour plus 5 tbsp
- 14g fast action yeast
- 80g caster sugar
- 300ml whole milk
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 5g salt
- 150g raisins soaked in boiling water with a chai teabag and half a lemon for a few hours or over night0
- 65g mixed peel (you can find this in the baking section of most supermarkets)
- 45g candied ginger finely chopped
- 65g unsalted butter
- 1 and a 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 and a 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tbsp. lemon zest
- 1 tbsp. orange zest
- 1 egg
- Add the milk in a pan with the cinnamon sticks and gently simmer.
- Let sit for 5 minutes then remove the cinnamon sticks and add the butter and leave to melt.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, add 500g flour, spices, sugar and salt, then add the yeast on the opposite side of the bowl so it not touching the salt.
- Pour in the milk mixture and add the egg and mix at high speed for 5 minutes.
- Mix the peel, stem ginger and zest in a bowl, drain the raisins and add those and mix together, add 2 tbsp. flour to the mixture.
- Add the peel mixture to the bowl and add three more tbsp. of flour and knead for another 2 minutes, the mixture should be soft but not unworkable, so add more flour if needed, take the bowl off the mixture and stretch the dough a few times to make sure the gluten has built up nicely.
- Once the dough is nice and elastic place in a oiled bowl and leave in a warm draft free place until it has doubled in size (about 1 hr 30 minutes)
- Once the dough has risen, knock all the air out and cut into 12 equal pieces, I weighed each one to make sure they would be the same size.
- Take one ball and fold the edges of the dough in on them self and pinch together, then place the pinched part flat on the surface and roll into a tight ball.
- Place on a lined baking tray leaving space between each one and leave for 1 hour until they have risen back up.
- Preheat the oven to 200c
- Make the batter for the crosses by mixing plain flour with a little water until you get a thick paste.
- Pipe on crosses and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
- While they are baking warm a few tbsp. of marmalade in a pan once they are baked and still hot from the oven brush on the marmalade glaze
>Don’t over work the dough or it will become tight and the buns wont be soft and have a nice texture, 5 to 7 minutes in a stand mixer and high speed should be enough,
but at the same time don’t underwork the dough or there will not be enough gluten, start at 5 minutes and take the dough out and stretch it, if it easily stretches with out tearing its ok.
>Make sure you leave the dough to rise until its doubled in size, you can do this in a cool, warm place for 1 and a half to two hours or over night in the fridge.
>Don’t skip the second rise.
>If you don’t have a stand mixer and you are making them by hand I would suggest 8/10 minutes of kneading.
Enjoy them toasted with butter. NOTE (toast under the grill in the oven or a griddle pan they will burn in a toaster because of the glaze)