Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Hot Cross Buns

Easter means only one thing to me, and surprisingly enough, it's not chocolate. After all, I can get that any time of the year. No, Easter means Hot Cross Buns!!

I've only liked them for the past few years, as I didn't actually like dried fruit. It was only until I was randomly craving these yummy buns that I actually started to like them. It taught me to not ignore my cravings for new things/things I didn't normally like, as these cravings normally lead me to loving something new.

I know it's super easy to just go to the supermarket and buy some ready made, but I find that they don't always have a decent amount of flavour, so I decided to make some of my own, with great results :)

Now I got the basics of this recipe from my all time favourite baker, Paul Hollywood. This man is an utter genius when it comes to bread.
Ingredients:
500g Strong White Bread Flour
1x 7g Packet of Fast Action Dried Yeast
75g Caster Sugar
1tsp Salt
1 Egg
75g Sultanas
50g Mixed Cut Peel
300ml Milk
50g Butter
1tsp Ground Cinnamon
1tsp Ground Nutmeg
1/2tsp Ground Ginger
In my second batch, I also made some Chocolate Hot Cross Buns. I saw some on the M&S advert a few days ago, and decided to have a go at those as well.

Ingredients:
500g Strong White Bread Flour
25g Cocoa Powder
1x 7g Packet of Fast Action Dried Yeast
75g Caster Sugar
1tsp Salt
1 Egg
50g Sultanas
75g Mixed Cut Peel
300ml Milk
50g Butter
1tsp Ground Cinnamon
1tsp Ground Nutmeg
1/2tsp Ground Ginger
50g Chocolate Chips
Honey for the glaze

Method:
Pour the milk into a saucepan, and bring to the boil, before removing from the heat, and leaving to cool until it reaches hand temperature.
Mix the flour, sugar, salt, yeast, butter and egg together in a large bowl, and then slowly add the warmed milk until it forms a soft, sticky dough.
Add the sultanas and mixed peel, then tip out of the bowl onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough for five minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with oiled cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for approximately one hour, or until doubled in size.
Divide the dough into 12 even pieces, and roll each piece into a smooth ball on a lightly floured surface. Arrange the buns on a baking tray lined with parchment, leaving enough space so that the buns just touch when they rise and expand. Leave the dough to rise for another 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas Mark 5.
For the cross decoration, mix 3tbsp flour with about five tbsp of water in a small bowl, adding the water one tablespoon at a time, mixing together to form a thick paste. Spoon into a piping bag with a small nozzle, and pipe a line along each row of buns, then repeat in the other direction to create crosses.
Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes on the middle shelf of the oven, or until golden-brown.
As soon as the buns are cooked, brush honey over the top of the buns, and leave to cool.
These are perfect when slightly cooled, and served with butter.
So delicious when the butter starts to melt, my mouth is watering at the thought :)


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