Hot Cross Buns Soft & Fluffy


hot cross bun is a spiced sweet bun usually made with fruit, marked with a cross on the top, and has been traditionally eaten on Good Friday. They are available all year round in some places.

Traditions:  English folklore includes many superstitions surrounding hot cross buns. One of them says that buns baked and served on Good Friday will not spoil or grow mouldy during the subsequent year. Another encourages keeping such a bun for medicinal purposes. A piece of it given to someone ill is said to help them recover. If taken on a sea voyage, hot cross buns are said to protect against shipwreck. If hung in the kitchen, they are said to protect against fires and ensure that all breads turn out perfectly. The hanging bun is replaced each year.

The cross: The traditional method for making the cross on top of the bun is to use shortcrust pastry, though some 21st century recipes recommended a paste of flour and water. – Source   Wikipedia

Hot Cross Buns –

Makes 12 buns approx. 65 gms each

Soft fluffy anyone and everyone can make anytime! 

Easiest Hot Cross Buns

Ingredients

  • 2.5 cups all purpose flour
  •  2 ½ tsp. active dry yeast (approx.. 9 gms.)
  • ½ cup caster sugar  
  • ½ tsp. ground all spice
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon 
  • 1 tsp. salt, or to taste  
  •  200 ml milk (luke warm) 
  •  3 tbsp.(42 gms) butter, softened 
  • 1/2 cup black raisins soaked in hot water for 15 mns., drain and pat dry
  • ½ cup Mixed fruit peel  
  • 1 tbsp. grated orange zest (if not using mixed peel)   zest of ½ orange
  • 1 egg whisk with milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla essence
  • 375 F for 10mns then reduce to 350 for 12 to 15mns
  • Glaze with sugar water or apricot jam + water

For the Cross

  • ½ cup Maida (all purpose flour)
  • 5 tbsp. water and more as required      

For glaze

  • ½ cup caster sugar
  • 150 ml boiling hot water

Method

In a large bowl mix the dry ingredients, add the flour, salt, sugar, yeast, all spice, ground cinnamon and mix.

Heat milk on stove top or microwave 30 to 40 seconds. Add the softened butter and egg and whisk.

Then add the wet ingredients, mix. If  kneading by hand, tip the ingredients onto a floured surface and knead. In a stand mixer knead 2 mns. On speed 1. Scrape down the bowl in between. Dough may be sticky but don’t be tempted to add anymore flour. Then 7 to 8 mns. On speed 2  till dough becomes smooth and comes together in a ball.

Grease a bowl, place the dough and cover with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel. Keep in a warm place until double in volume 1 to 2 hours depending on the room temperature.  This is the first proving. Once double, punch to release the air.

Divide into 12 equal portions.  You may weigh each portion to make sure the buns are even in size about 62 to 65 gms each. Form each portion into a smooth ball.  Place all the shaped dough portions next to each other into a large baking tray 1 inch apart lined with parchment and cover with greased cling wrap. leave on the counter to prove until double in size. This is the second proving.

To Prepare the flour paste for the cross: Add water to the flour and whisk until smooth. Add water or flour to get the right consistency.  Pipe the cross on each bun using a piping bag or zip lock bag with the tip cut off.

Bake in a preheated oven at 180 deg C for 20 to 25 minutes (depends on the oven) or until tops are golden brown.  Place tray in the middle of the oven. 

Remove the baked buns, glaze with the sugar water.  Allow to sit in the tray 10 mns to soak up the sugar water, then leave on wire rack to cool a bit.  Slice and apply butter while still warm. You can store in airtight container for 4 days and in the freezer for 4 months, then toast and enjoy!

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