There is still time to make treats for Easter, and these hot cross buns are amazingly good! I know what you’re thinking: “Your buns haven’t got crosses on though…” – and you are (obviously) correct! This was because I don’t have a new piping bag yet, and the mix I made was a bit lumpy and did not want to go through my badly made excuse for a piping bag. But never mind – they are hot (but not crossed) buns here!
These little buns are a great if you’re not a huge fan of dried fruit – I adapted the recipe here by not including mixed dried fruit and adding extra chocolate chips! I did add candied peel in here, but you could leave it out if you really don’t like the fruit. If you would prefer a more traditional batch of hot cross buns, try this recipe that I posted last Easter. Bear in mind that hot cross buns take a long time, but they are so worth the wait and effort!
This recipe was taken from the Spring 2014 edition of Woman & Home: Feel Good Food magazine.
7g sachet fast action dried yeast
175g/6oz caster sugar
250ml/9fl oz warm semi-skimmed milk
600g/1lb 5oz strong white bread flour
3 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
zest of 3 oranges and juice of 1 1/2
75g/3oz unsalted butter, plus 1 tbsp melted
125g/4 1/2 oz mixed dried fruit (or 100g/4oz candied peel)
150g/5oz dark chocolate chips
1 egg yolk, mixed with 1 tbsp milk
50g/2oz plain flour
1. Place the yeast in a bowl and mix with 1 tbsp of the caster sugar. Add 4 tbsp of the warm milk and leave to foam for 5 minutes.
2. In a separate bowl, add the flour, 125g/4 1/2oz of the sugar, a pinch of salt, spices, zest and butter and, using the tips of your fingers, rub together until it resembles breadcrumbs. Stir through the dried fruit or peel and the chocolate chips.
3. Pour in the yeast mixture, juice of 1 orange and most of the remaining milk. Mix it to a sticky dough, adding more milk if needed. Knead for 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. Place on a baking sheet and cover with greased clingfilm. Leave to rise in a warm place for 1 to 2 hours, or until doubled in size.
4. Divide into 24 equal balls and place in rows, almost touching each other, on a greased baking sheet. Cover with the clingfilm again and leave for another hour to double in size again.
5. Heat the oven to 190C (170C Fan)/375F/Gas mark 5. Brush the egg yolk mixture over the buns. Mix the flour with 1 tbsp of melted butter and spoon into a piping bag with a plain nozzle. Pipe a cross on each bun and bake for 10 to 15 minutes until golden.
6. Heat the remaining 50g/2oz sugar with the juice of 1/2 an orange until dissolved. Brush over the buns as soon as they come out of the oven and allow to cool.
These buns are even yummier when still slightly warm…enjoy one with a cuppa! Or maybe two – they’re only small! 😉