It's Easter and what else do you eat for breakfast on Easter Sunday (apart from way too much chocolate of course!) but Hot Cross Buns! One of my favorite times of the year to spend in the kitchen. I'm always on a mission to make the perfect Hot Cross Bun. Even if you just want to create an easter atmosphere - these babies will surround your home with the smell of easter. This recipe was derived from one given on a New Zealand news website, so far - no complaints!
I made 13 buns but they were huge! Should make up to 20.
1 cup milk
1/2 cup hot water
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp dried yeast
2 cups flour
100g butter (softened)
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp mixed spice
1 tsp grated nutmeg
2 Tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup mixed fruit
2-3 cups flour
Paste for the crosses
1/2 cup flour
2 Tbsp oil
1/2 cup water
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp water
Place the milk, hot water and 2 Tbsp sugar in a large bowl. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Check that this mixture is lukewarm, this is important for the yeast to develop. You can adjust the liquid by placing the bowl in either a sink of cold water if it is too hot or a sink of warm water if it is too cold.
Sprinkle the yeast into the liquid and let it stand for 3 minutes, then stir to break up any lumps.
Add 2 cups of flour and stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture is smooth. This might take a few minutes. You should see bubbles coming out of the mixture 0 this proves that the yeast is growing.
Stand this mixture in the sun on the bench or in a sink of warm water or in the hot water cupboard to rise for 30 minutes to 1 hour - this took no time at all in the Sydney sun - if you live in a cooler climate don't rush this step.
In another large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until it is pale and creamy in colour.
Add the egg, salt, mixed spice, nutmeg and vanilla and mix thoroughly. Mix in the dried fruit.
When the yeast mixture has doubled in size, add it to the creamed mixture with another 2-3 cups of flour.
Mix well using a wooden spoon or a dough hook on your cake mixer. The mixture should be a soft ball that can be kneaded. Add extra flour if the mixture is still sloppy.
If you do not have a dough hook, knead the dough by hand. This is an important step that will contribute the the lightness of your dough. To knead by hand, lightly sprinkle flour on a clean bench and place the ball of dough in the middle of the flour. Flatten the ball with your hand, then with your fingers pull the edges of the ball into the middle and press it down lightly. You should be able to get into a rhythm when you knead the dough in this way and it takes about 10 minutes to complete this. If you're unsure how to knead properly there are plenty of You Tube tutorials!
When the dough is smooth and shiny, you have kneaded it enough. Be careful not to mix too much extra flour in during the process.
Press the ball of dough into a rectangle 25cm by 30cm and 2cm thick.
Cut the dough into 20 squares (less depending how large you would like your buns) and roll each into a ball shape.
Place on a greased oven tray or slice tin. Space them 1-2 cm apart to allow for rising and spreading. Cover lightly with a tea towel.
Leave them in a warm place to rise until they are double in volume. Takes about 1 3/4 hours (1 hour over hot water.
Make the paste for the crosses by mixing the oil and flour into a smooth paste. Add extra water if needed. It should be smooth and just thick enough to squeeze through a nozzle or a 1/2 cm hole cut in the corner of a plastic bag.
When the buns have doubled in size, use a very sharp knife or clean box cutter to lightly mark a cross on each bun, then pipe a cross using the paste.
Bake the buns at 180[Celsius] fanbake for 10-15 minutes or until they are lightly browned.
To glaze the buns, dissolve the sugar in the water then brush the glaze over the buns as soon as they come out of the oven.