Hot cross buns are my favourite Easter treat by far – in actual fact, I love them so much that I tend to eat them all year round! (They do sell them all year round in Marks and Spencer, which is very helpful.) I did once ask Tom’s Dad, Keith, if he would like a hot cross bun – it just happened to be on the day before Christmas Eve, and being a Methodist minister he found my mix-up of festive foods rather amusing!
This recipe is another from Tom’s mum and it is really simple, but as with all hot cross bun recipes it does take a lot of time. But it is well worth it to have freshly made hot cross buns and Easter and they will make your kitchen smell amazing!
340g/12oz strong white bread flour
55g/2oz light muscovado sugar (I used dark because, as usual, I realised I didn’t have any!)
2tsp mixed spice
Half a tsp of grated nutmeg
Half a tsp salt
2 packets easyblend yeast
55g/2oz mixed peel
6fl oz warm milk and water mixed (I used about 4 fl oz of milk and topped with boiling water)
1 egg, beaten
55g/2oz melted butter
1. Put all of the dry ingredients and fruit into a bowl and mix well.
2. Add all of the wet ingredients and mix well – the mixture will be sticky! Cover and set to rise for about 2 hours in a warm place (as it rises you’ll hear it sound like Rice Krispies when you’ve just poured the milk on!)
3. Turn out the dough and knead, before dividing into 12 and shaping into buns. Cut crosses in the top and place on a baking sheet and leave to rise again for about 40-50 minutes.
4. Bake in a preheated oven at 425F/220C/Gas mark 7 for 20-25 minutes, but keep an eye on them because mine cooked rather quickly!
5. Whilst still warm, glaze the buns with 1tbsp sugar dissolved in 1tbsp warm milk. Put the kettle on and enjoy whilst they’re warm!
Now, you may be wondering why my buns have weird shapes on…well, I found a really cool thing on pinterest about making bunny bread and I had an idea that I could try it with hot cross buns – to make hot cross bunnies! But it didn’t quite go to plan and I think they look more like hot cross stegosauruses…but they taste good! The bunny bread looks like this:
Mine looked like this when I made the ears:
Maybe it was the fruit in the buns that made it difficult?! I don’t know…will have to try another time! Whether you make hot cross buns or try your own hot cross bunnies, I hope you have a very Happy Easter!