I don’t need an excuse to bake, but Easter is a pretty good one!
The 5 year old loves hot cross buns. So much so, that for weeks now he’s been taking them in his packed lunch to school. Every. Single. Day. Now I’m not going to pretend I bake them all the time – being a working mum there just aren’t the hours in the day. So for a treat for Easter I baked a whole batch, especially for him. Well almost…
Yes, they were as delicious as they look. I don’t think I’ll be getting away with shop bought in his lunch box next week…
Hot Cross Buns
- 200ml milk
- 50g butter (I prefer salted)
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 7g sachet fast action yeast
- Pinch of salt
- 75g caster sugar
- 500g strong white bread flour
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 125g sultanas
- 50g mixed peel
- grated zest of 1 orange
- 1 egg (free range!) – beaten
- 3 tbsp apricot jam
For the cross paste:
- 3 tbsp flour
- 3 tbsp caster sugar
- 4 – 5 tbsp cold water
- Bring the milk & vanilla essence almost to the boil in a saucepan, then remove from the heat and stir in the butter and orange zest. Cool for approx 10 minutes.
- In a large bowl mix the flour, yeast, sugar, cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Make a well in the centre and pour in the milk mixture and the beaten egg.
- Mix with a wooden spoon, making sure everything is brought together well, then with your finish off with your hands. The dough will be quite sticky.
- On a well floured work surface, kneed the dough for 5 minutes until smooth and elastic.
- Put the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with oiled cling film (to prevent a crust from forming), and leave to prove in a warm place for 1 hour, until doubled in size.
- Pour the sultanas and mixed peel into the bowl, and kneed into the dough, making sure the fruit is evenly distributed. Re-cover with the oiled clingfilm, and leave to prove for another hour, until doubled.
- Line a baking tray with baking parchment. Remove the dough from the bowl and on a floured surface, divide into 15 smooth balls. Place them, evenly spaced, on the lined baking tray. Re-cover with the oiled clingfilm, and leave to prove for a final hour.
- Heat the oven to 22o°C.
- Make the paste for the cross by mixing the caster sugar, flour and adding the water slowly. You need a fairly thick paste that can be piped. Put the paste in a piping bag with a small nozzle, and pipe horizontally and vertically across the proved buns.
- Bake for 20 mins until golden.
- Heat the apricot jam in a pan, and sieve to remove any lumps of fruit. Remove the buns from the oven and glaze with the jam immediately.
- Leave to cool for at least 30 mins before tucking in.
- Enjoy spread thickly with butter and slices of mature cheddar cheese!
For more from The Gallery visit Tara’s blog – Sticky Fingers.