Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Hot Crossed Buns

I mentioned in my last post that I was planning on making hot cross buns and the lovely Johanna recommended her recipe, and it sounded good so I went with it! I love how everything is done by hand and not at all with a Kitchenaid mixer, though I know you can make any recipe really by hand but I don't know if I would've if it weren't written that way (ie. kneading by hand instead of a dough hook, mixing the butter in with my fingers). Am I making sense or just rambling on? Anyway, I was really happy with how these turned out! They were easy to make, nice and soft, and perfectly spicy - also delicious toasted! I chose to use candied dried fruit because that's what's in the ones my mom would buy, but next time I'll try chopping up some regular dried fruit. My only problem was with the crosses. I was hurrying to get them in the oven so I only ended up putting crosses on a couple of them. The flour/water mixture was so gloopy - I'll have to try again when I have more time to play around with it.

I've read about this method of forming rolls/buns into balls by stretching the skin around to the bottom. Which I found really hard to comprehend when I was reading about it and looking at photos, but I think I've got the hang of it now. I really should've taken process photos of these buns as they were rising and what not. I love how risen dough looks!

If this sounds good, you might also like:
Buttermilk Honey Bread
Christopsomos - Greek Celebration Bread
Pecan Fruit Rye Bread
Golden Cinnamon Loaf

Hot Cross Buns
Adapted from Green Gourmet Giraffe

Makes 15 buns

4 1/2 tsp dried yeast
300ml milk, warmed
4 cups (600g) plain flour
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp cloves
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp allspice
90g butter, chopped
225g container candied fruit mix
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg

1 cup (150g) plain flour
8-10 tbsp water

1/4 cup water
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp cloves
1/8 tsp allspice
1/8 tsp nutmeg

Sprinkle yeast over warm milk. Stand 5 minutes til frothy.

Place flour and spices in the bowl and rub in butter until mixture resembles breadcrumbs. You could do it in the blender but it is quite a relaxing activity. Stir in fruit and sugar.

Whisk egg into milk and yeast mixture. Make a well in the flour mixture and pour in the milk mixture. Mix to a soft dough. Tip onto a lightly floured board. (This is a dough that hardly needs any flour.) Knead for approximately 10 minutes until smooth and elastic (this is the moment it should feel like an ear lobe). Use the heel of your hand to knead and put some good rocking music on the stereo and enjoy the rhythm.

Lightly oil a large bowl. Turn the dough in the bowl so it is covered with oil. Cover with cling wrap. Stand in a warm place til doubled in size – this should take about 45 minutes.

Punch down the dough – this is the fun bit! Knead a few minutes til the dough is smooth. Divide into 15 pieces and form each piece into a ball. Arrange close together on a tray and cover with a damp tea towel. Stand in a warm place til doubled in size – this should take about 40 minutes.

About 10-15 minutes before the buns have risen, prepare a baking tray (I used my swiss roll tray), preheat the oven (425F) and prepare the cross mixture. To make the cross mixture, mix the flour and water in a small bowl until it forms a paste. There is nothing worse than not having enough so this makes extra so you can refill if needed. Any piping equipment will do but it is quite a thick mixture so a really thin nozzle isn't recommended. Don’t worry - this mixture is tasteless. Once the glaze goes on at the end it tastes great.

Once the crosses are piped, put buns in the oven at 425F for 10 minutes. Then reduce to 400F and bake a further 7-10 minutes or until buns are browned and hollow when tapped.

About 10 minutes before the buns are cooked, prepare the glaze. To make the glaze, place sugar and water in a small saucepan. Stir to combine and bring to the boil. Simmer for 1-2 minutes without stirring. Add spices.

When the buns come out of the oven turn out onto a wire rack. Brush glaze on to buns a few times to ensure they have a thick coating. You will have more glaze than you need so be quite generous with the glaze.


Joanne said...

These look so cute! I haven't had hot cross buns. Ever. Although I've been singing the song my entire life. These is getting to be far too incongruous though. So I'm going to have to make them.

I think as opposed to making the cross that way, I would make it out of icing. Because then I would get to eat icing.

Dana said...

How is it that I have never had a hot cross bun? Yours look wonderful!

grace said...

poifect. nicely done--the extra glaze would be no problem for me. :)

Johanna GGG said...

your hot cross bun looks gorgeous - when we made them this year we just used some of our favourite mixed fruit but I do like the orange peel in them.

I must update my info on the crosses in my post as my friend had problems with them too - seems like something you have to get for a feel for but that is hard to translate into a recipe.

Hope it is the first year of many that you make them - they are so yummy

Chef Fresco said...

I've also never had a hot crossed bun, but am very intigued! Looks so tasty!

Natalie... said...

Oooh wow your hot cross buns look delicious :D. Yummy!!

Mini Baker said...

i still have yet to eat a cross bun! and they look soooo good! Will you send me one ? :P
-Mini B.

CookiePie said...

They look fantastic!!

Jacqueline said...

That looks so good, i can smell and taste it just by looking at it :)

Anonymous said...

fab looking hot cross buns!

Rose&Thorn said...

This is something that is on my Eater to do list every year and I never made them - we eat so many shop bought ones and I know homemade is better - I need to quit the excuses and make the effort, although I don't relish hand kneading.

Zia Elle said...

it looks so good!!!

kimberleyblue said...

I think your crosses look great - not sloppy at all! It's bread, after all...

I've always wanted to make these buns, so I'm looking forward to trying these.

Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets said...

Don't tell anyone ;) but I've never ever tried hot cross buns before! They look/sound great.

trudilou said...

okay so im an aussie and hot cross buns are what easter is all about.. how to eat them.. breakfast - toast them under a broiler and spread with lashings of butter!!!!