Hot Cross Buns

Cookbook Challenge 2011: Fortnight 7
Theme: Celebration
Recipe: Hot cross buns
From: Australian Women’s Weekly Bake

We’re backtracking a fortnight to the celebration theme for the Cookbook Challenge, which you may remember I skipped over because I dropped a cake into the sink. Well, I’m back on theme and since it’s Easter, I rather predictably made hot cross buns. (Side note: I just had a sudden brain dead moment and couldn’t remember the word “predictably”! Gak!)

How do you like your hot cross buns? I like mine with a fair bit of spice, plenty of fruit, no peel (bleurgh) and warmed up so lots of salted butter can be slathered on. I love how the butter goes all melty and there’s that contrast of spiced sweetness and buttery saltiness. Yes, now we’re talking!

This year I followed a recipe from Bake for my hot cross buns. It’s a pretty easy recipe to make if you’ve made bread before, and they came out great, with soft and fluffy centres. I have noted in my cookbook to double the spice for next year as I think a bit more spice would be fantastic, but they were still pretty good. I’m definitely going to make them again next year!

The hot cross buns are best eaten on the day they’re made, and I still have some left over that will probably be a bit stale. I think I might use them to make hot cross bun French toast… how’s that for a decadent Easter weekend breakfast?

See previous Cookbook Challenge posts here.

And see what other participants made at the Cookbook Challenge forum.

Hot cross buns

From AWWW Bake

Makes 16

1 tablespoon (14g) dried yeast
55g caster sugar
1&1/2 cups (375ml) warm milk
4 cups / 600g plain flour
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
60g butter
1 egg
3/4 cup (120g) sultanas

Flour paste:
1/2 cup / 75g plain flour
2 teaspoons caster sugar
1/3 cup (80ml) water, approximately

1 tablespoon caster sugar
1 teaspoon gelatine
1 tablespoon water

Combine the yeast, sugar and milk in a small bowl. Cover and let it stand for 10 minutes, or until frothy.

Sift the flour and spices into a large bowl. Using your fingers, rub in the butter. Stir in the yeast mixture, egg and sultanas and mix until it is a soft, sticky dough. Cover and let it stand in a warm place for about 45 minutes or until doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 220°C and grease a 23cm square cake pan.

Lightly flour a clean surface, and turn out the dough on to it. Knead for about 5 minutes until smooth. Divide the dough into 16 pieces and knead into balls. Place the balls into the pan. Cover and let it stand in a warm place for 10 minutes, or until buns have risen slightly.

Make the flour paste for the crosses by combining the flour and sugar, and then gradually stirring in enough of the water to form a smooth paste. Place the flour paste into a piping bag with a small plain nozzle and pipe crosses on top of the buns.

Bake the buns for 20 minutes, or until they sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Turn out on to a wire rack.

Make the glaze by stirring all the ingredients in a small saucepan until the sugar and gelatine are dissolved (don’t let it boil). Brush the hot buns with the glaze and allow them to cool.