So I’m sure you can guess that we are going through an Easter theme with our baking at the moment, because Easter is coming up and why not celebrate with baking and having fun. So this week we had a go at the classic Hot Cross Bun
We wanted to make our Hot Cross Buns a little different to your usual shop bought bun. We have included some stem ginger into our recipe just to give them a little bit of a kick to go along the subtle spices on the dough. Of course, if you don’t like ginger just omit this when making yours.
Another thing we thought would be a nice twist was inspired by using marzipan for the cross on the buns. Instead when mixing the flour & water paste you pipe onto the buns before putting into the oven, we have added a bit of almond extract to give it that marzipan taste, sounding good right?
And whats better than adding lots of fruit to your buns than to add lots of different fruit – not just for the taste but the colour too! We have added apricots and cranberries to ours, but again, this is necessary you can just use all sultanas and raisins if you wish. Another addition you could add is candied peel (some people like it, we don’t)
- 500g strong white bread flour
- 2 x 7g yeast
- 50g caster sugar
- 200ml milk
- 60ml water
- 60g butter, melted
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1 egg
- 30g sultanas
- 30g dried apricots (quartered)
- 20g dried cranberries
- 2 balls of stem ginger, chopped (optional)
- 1 tbsp ginger syrup (from the stem ginger - optional)
- 1 orange, zest & juice
- 1 lemon, zest & juice
- 2-3 tbsp plain flour
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
- almond extract
- 50g sugar
- 50ml water
- 1 tbsp honey
- Mix together your dried fruit, ginger, ginger syrup, zest and juice in a bowl and set aside.
- Gently heat your milk & water in a pan till it's lukewarm, remove from the heat and add the yeast.
- In your stand mixer, fitted with dough hook attachment (or bowl if you're doing it by hand), add the flour, salt, sugar & spices.
- Pour in the melted butter and milk, whisk the egg in a bowl and add to the mix. Turn on your mixer and leave it to work to form a smooth dough.
- We like to finish our dough off by hand, so tip onto a lightly floured surface and kneed for a couple of minutes until it's soft to touch.
- Transfer to a bowl and cover - leave to prove for an hour, or until doubled in size.
- Tip onto a floured surface and kneed in the fruit so it's all incorporated.
- Portion and roll into 10-12 equal balls (depending on how big you want them). Place on a lined baking tray and cover with cling film or a tea towel for about 40mins.
- Mix together the plain flour & sugar with a little water and the almond extract to create a thick paste, add a little water at a time till you get the consistency you're happy with for piping - transfer to a piping bag and snip the end off to create a little hole.
- Brush on a little egg wash to your risen buns and pipe crosses on the top of the buns with your almond paste.
- Pop in the oven at 180C for 15-20mins till they're golden brown.
- Meanwhile in a pan boil the sugar, water & honey together on a high heat to create a sugar syrup, brush on your hot cross buns whilst they're still hot to create a nice sticky bun, leave to cool.
We still haven’t perfected the perfect ball when rolling our buns, but they just make them look even more homemade!!