Easter Hot Cross Buns

Easter Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns - Easter 2013

Hot Cross Buns – Easter 2013

Happy Easter everyone!   Enjoy the long holiday.

I think you must be smell the hot cross bun’s fragrance every where already, especially when you walk pass the bakery shop, supermarket’s bakery or near someone’s kitchen. Because it is near the Easter!

Hot cross bun  is a spicy sweet bun marked with a cross and containing dried fruit, traditionally eaten during Lent.

In many historically Christian countries, buns are traditionally eaten hot or toasted during Lent, beginning with the evening of Shrove Tuesday (the evening before Ash Wednesday) to Good Friday, with the cross standing as a symbol of the Crucifixion.

In the UK, the major supermarkets produce variations on the traditional recipe such as toffee, orange and cranberry, and apple and  cinnamon.

In Australia and New Zealand, a chocolate version of the bun has become popular; there are also coffee flavoured buns sold in some Australian bakeries. They generally contain the same mixture of spices, but chocolate chips are used instead of currants. One variety uses chocolate chips with chilli bits in the mixture.

Hot Cross Buns - Easter 2013

Hot Cross Buns – Easter 2013

In the Czech Republic, mazanec is a similar cake or sweet bread eaten at Easter time. It often has a cross marked on top.

Lots of  the history or information will find in here.

But today, I will make the ordinary one, the traditional one, no fancy addition. But I did make a silly mistake, I piped the cross onto the bun before the second proof, that’s why you can’t see clearly about the cross.  😦

This recipe was adapted from one of my favourite TV bakery: Paul Hollywood, he’s a great bread baker, his technique on bread kneading just  amazing.

Hot Cross Buns - Easter 2013

Hot Cross Buns – Easter 2013

Easter Hot Cross Buns

For the buns Ingredient:        (make 18 small one)

  •   300ml Semi-skimmed milk
  •   500g Strong Brown flour 
  •   65g Light brown sugar
  •   25g Skimmed milk powder
  •   1/2 tsp sea salt
  •   7g Instant dry yeast     ( if use active dry yeast, will be 14g)
  •   50g Butter
  •   1 egg, beaten
  •   75g Sultanas
  •   50g Mixed peel
  •   1 Apple, cored and chopped
  •   1 Orange , zest only
  •   Cinnamon/ Nutmeg/ Dry Ginger/ Cloves powder- ½ tsp each    ( 2 tsp of Mixed spice)

For the Cross ingredient:

  •   75g Plain flour
  •   Few tablespoon of water

For the glaze:

  • 3 tbsp Apricot jam    ( I use 1 tbsp of sugar an 1 tbsp of hot water, melted together )
Hot Cross Buns - Easter 2013

Hot Cross Buns – Easter 2013

Method:

  1. Bring the milk to nearly boil, let it cool down a little bit.
  2. Mix the flour, sugar, salt, yeast, butter and egg together in a large bowl, the slowly add the warmed milk until it forms a soft, sticky dough.
  3. Add the sultanas, mixed peel, chopped apple and orange zest, then tip out of the bowl onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough by holding the dough with one hand and stretching it with the heal of the other hand, then folding it back on itself. Repeat for another 5 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Otherwise, you can use your stand mixer of course!
  4. Put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with oiled cling film and leave to rise for about an hour, or until double the size.
  5. Divide the dough into 12 even pieces ( I made it 18 mini one to lower my carbohydrates instakes), :p   Roll each piece into a smooth ball on a lightly floured surface. Arrange the buns on a baking tray lined with parchment, leaving enough space so that the buns just touch when they rise and expand. Set aside to prove for another hour.
  6. Preheat the oven to 425°F/220°C/200°C (fan oven), or gas mark 7.
  7. For the cross, mix the flour with about 5 tbsp of water together, adding the water one tbsp at a time, to make into a thick paste. Spoon into a piping bag with a small nozzle. Pipe a line along each row of buns , then repeat in the other direction to creat crosses.
  8. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes on the middle shelf of the oven, or until golden-brown.
  9. Gently heat the apricot jam to melt, then sieve to get rid of any chunks. While the jam is still warm, brush over the top of the warm buns and leave to cool. Gently rip the buns apart to serve. revealing temptingly soft edges.
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