Saturday, April 11, 2009

My Favorite Hot Cross Bun Recipe

I cannot imagine Easter without these. They are one of my favorite Easter traditions. It is so lovely spending the afternoon in a warm kitchen, surrounded by the fragrance of spices and yeast.
Hot Cross Buns:
Measure 1 cup of milk, 1/2 a cup of hot water and 2 tablespoons of sugar into a bowl.
Warm or cool to body temperature and add 1 tablespoon of yeast. Mix well and then add 2 cups of flour, cover and leave to rise in a warm place.
Meanwhile in another bowl cream 100g of butter with 1/2 cup of soft brown sugar.
Then beat in 1 egg, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 tablespoon of mixed spice, 1 tablespoon of cinnamon, 1 tsp of ground cloves, 1 tsp of vanilla and 1 cup of dried fruit. (I used sultanas and currants.)
When the yeast mixture has risen to twice it's original size, tip it into the creamed mixture along with an extra 2 cups of flour. Mix well and if you need too add in enough extra flour to make a dough firm enough to turn out on a bench top and knead.
Knead until the dough feels satiny and does not stick to the bench top. It should spring back when pressed with a finger. Divide the dough into four pieces and cut each of these into six. ( I made mine a bit larger than this.) Shape each one into a ball and place in buttered baking trays, leaving space between each one to allow for rising. Cover with plastic wrap and leave to rise until twice their original size.
Make the crosses by rubbing 60 grams of butter in 1 cup of flour and then adding enough water to make a stiff dough. Roll it out and cut it into strips. Brush these with a little milk so they stick and place them on the buns.
Bake uncovered for 10- 12 minutes at 225 C.
As soon as they come out of the oven brush them with a glaze made from 2 tablespoons golden syrup warmed with 3 tablespoons of water.
These are gorgeous! Serve them warm with butter.

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