I haven’t had Hot Cross Buns for a while. The last ones must have been shop-bought ones in England two years ago. And the last time I made some was even longer ago. I remember I had an issue with the cross that time. My recipe required the crosses to be made out of shortcrust pastry and put on top on the buns. That didn’t work for me. Friends of mine made some the other year and they used a paste of flour and water. I did that this time and I’m a very happy bunny.
I also baked two types of bread. I defrosted the last bag before Master Meike’s Kitchen and I went away for the weekend and I didn’t feel guilty at all leaving Mr and Miss to go and buy some bread. There was so much going on, I don’t think I could have fitted in any breadmaking.
And now for the fun bit, the Hot Cross Buns. The recipe is from a Reader’s Digest book called Great British Dishes the Healthy Way (2002), a Christmas present from my MIL. I’ve tried out a couple of the recipes and they’ve been alright. Back to the HCB: it’s actually one for saffron buns but leave out the saffron, pipe a cross on and, hey presto, HCB! I’ve made another little change or two as well so here goes:
For the buns:
500g strong white bread flour
A good pinch of salt
7g sachet of easy-blend dried yeast
50g white sugar
50g butter, melted
1 large egg, beaten
For the crosses:
2 tbsp flour
2 tbsp water (or more)
For the glaze:
3 tsp runny honey, warmed
Put the flour and salt into a large bowl, then stir in the yeast, sugar and raisins. Add the melted butter, egg and milk. Mix well and remove the mixture to a floured surface. Knead for up to 10 minutes until smooth and elastic.
Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and leave in a warm place for 1 1/2 – 2 hours until well risen.
Turn the dough onto a floured board and knock out the air. Divide into 12 pieces of roughly the same size and shape each into a round bun. Place on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment, cut crosswise nearly to the bottom, cover and leave for 45-60 minutes until risen again.
Heat the oven to 220°C.
Mix the flour and water to a paste, not too runny but you need to be able to pipe it. Then pipe it into the cuts on the buns.
Bake the HCB for 15 minutes until golden, then remove to a wire rack. Brush with the honey while still warm, then leave to cool slightly.