John’s Delicious Home-Made Hot Cross Buns
Hot cross buns are a tradition during the Easter holidays in the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth countries, such as Australia, Canada, South Africa and New Zealand. Although historically served on Good Friday, hot cross buns are now a tasty treat any time of year. (Good Friday this year is on April 18, April 20 is Easter Sunday and April 21 is Easter Monday.)
300ml milk, allow 2 tablespoons extra
500g strong bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
75g fine caster sugar
1 tablespoon of high quality olive oil
7g of fast-action yeast
2 eggs, beaten lightly
50g mixed peel
zest of 1 orange
1 apple, peel, core & finely chop
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
For the cross
75g plain flour, plus a little extra for dusting
For the glaze use some of the saved beaten egg painting the beaten egg over the top surface of the bun and cross dough.
Gently boil the milk, remove from the heat, add the butter, stirring it until it melts. Cool to hand temperature.
Place flour, salt, sugar and yeast into a bowl. Stir together, then press a dip in the centre of the mixture.
Pour in the hand warm milk and butter liquid, add the beaten egg, but save some egg for glazing the buns.
With a wooden spoon, mix well, then firmly knead together by hand until the dough is is sticky.
Tip the dough on to a floured surface and knead by hand again, stretching the dough, then folding it back on itself. Keep repeating this for at least 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.
Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl. Covering it with well-oiled cling film. Then leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
Tip into the bowl the sultanas, orange zest, apple, mixed peel and cinnamon. Knead all these ingredients into the dough, making sure everything is well distributed. The dough must now rise again for1hour or more, cover by well-oiled cling film to stop a crust forming on the dough.
Now divide the dough into around 15 x 75 gram pieces, roll each piece into a smooth ball on a lightly floured work surface.
Arrange these balls of dough on one or two parchment lined baking trays, with enough space for each ball of dough to expand. Cover with a clean tea towel leaving in a warm place to prove for 1 hour more.
Heat an oven to 220C, gas mark 7.
Make the base for the cross from the plain flour. Use about 5 tablespoons of water, add the water tablespoon by tablespoon to make the thick paste for the crosses.
Spoon this paste into a piping bag with a small nozzle. Pipe lines to create a cross on the top of the dough bun.
Finally glaze the buns with a brush, using the left over beaten egg mixture
Bake in oven for approximately 20 minutes, placing the baking trays on the middle shelf of the oven,
When golden brown remove from oven.
Enjoy these spiced Hot Cross Buns especially at Easter time.
This recipe was provided to Simple English News by John Edwin Skelton.