Do you really need a good reason to eat some Hot Cross Buns on Good Friday?
True that it has been a long standing tradition to have these delicacies only on Good Friday but over time, these are found to be available and consumed all year round. This is the sweet bun with a touch of spice and filled with currants and finally on the top it has a coating of golden syrup and the cross on top.
Interestingly there are so many superstitions surrounding hot cross buns, ranging from these protecting those on a sea voyage from shipwreck to protecting house-holds from fire and many such folklores. Whatever these stand for, you have the chance to put your baking skills to good use. So get in the mood for Easter with your baking. Who knows what kitchen story you will have to share with us once you bring out the tray full of freshly baked hot cross buns to have some more fun with friends and family.
Ingredients I used:
For the buns
625g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
1 tsp salt
2 tsp ground mixed spice
45g unsalted butter, cut into cubes, plus extra for greasing
1 lemon, zest only
1½ tsp fast-action yeast
1 free-range egg
125g mixed dried fruit
For the topping
2 tbsp plain flour
vegetable oil, for greasing
1 tbsp golden syrup, gently heated, for glazing
Lets Bake Now
Step one: For the buns, sieve the flour, salt and ground mixed spice into a large mixing bowl, then rub in the butter using your fingertips. Make a well in the centre of the mixture, then add the sugar and lemon zest and yeast.
Step two: Beat the egg and add to the flour with the milk. Mix together to a form a soft, pliable dough.
Step three: Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Carefully work the mixed dried fruit into the dough until well combined. Knead lightly for 5 minutes, or until smooth and elastic.
Step four: Grease a large, warm mixing bowl with butter. Shape the dough into a ball and place it into the prepared bowl, then cover with a clean tea towel and set aside in a warm place for one hour to prove.
Step five: Turn out the proved dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knock back the dough. Shape it into a ball again and return it to the bowl, then cover again with the tea towel and set aside for a further 30 minutes to rise.
Step six: Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and divide it into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, then flatten slightly into a bun shape using the palms of your hands. Cover the buns again with the tea towel and set aside to rest for 5-10 minutes.
Step seven: Grease a baking tray with butter and transfer the buns to the tray. Wrap the tray with the buns on it loosely in greaseproof paper, then place inside a large polythene bag. Tie the end of the bag tightly so that no air can get in and set aside in a warm place for a further 40 minutes to rise.
Step eight: Preheat the oven to 240C/475F.
Meanwhile, for the topping, mix the plain flour to a smooth paste with 2 tablespoons of cold water.
Step nine: When the buns have risen, remove the polythene bag and the greaseproof paper. Spoon the flour mixture into a piping bag and pipe a cross on each bun.
Step ten: Transfer the buns to the oven and bake for 8-12 minutes, or until pale golden-brown. As soon as you remove the buns from the oven, brush them with the hot golden syrup, then set aside to cool on a wire rack.
Have fun with these Easter Hot Cross Buns!
Happy Easter, love!