Classic Hot Cross Buns
Although it’s not hard to make hot cross buns, there are 3 parts – the dough, the crosses, and finally a sugar glaze. These buns keep fresh for up to 2 days, and are best eaten warmed in the oven or microwave, or split and toasted, and spread with lots of butter. (This amount makes 8 hot cross buns and can easily be doubled)
350 grams strong white bread flour
45g caster sugar
1 (7 gram) sachet dried yeast
1.5 teaspoon mixed ground spice
1 teaspoon salt
100 grams raisins
120 ml warm water
100 ml milk (or dairy free milk for a vegan version)
30ml vegetable oil
2 tablespoons plain flour
Approx 4 tablespoons cold water
3 tbs caster sugar
4 tbs cold water
- To make the dough,measure the dry ingredients into a large bowl and mix to combine ( flour, sugar, spices, yeast, salt and raisins).
- Then add the liquids (oil, water, milk) into the bowl of dried ingredients, mixing it in well with a fork. When it gets too hard to stir, use your hands to combine all the ingredients into a sticky dough.
- Turn the dough out onto the table and knead well for 5-10 minutes until it is soft and elastic (in an electric standing mixer this only takes 3 minutes). It will be a very sticky dough, but try to add as little extra flour as possible, and use a scraper to get the dough off the table and your hands if it is sticking. Poke back in any raisins that jump out!
- Once you have kneaded the dough (the longer the better!) put it back in the bowl and leave it to rise for 60-90 mins until it has doubled in size.
- While the dough is rising make the mixture for the crosses: Mix the flour with just enough cold water to make a to make a thick, pipe-able paste, the consistency of toothpaste. Pour it into a piping bag or sandwich bag ready to pipe crosses on the buns (you’ll be snipping off a corner of the bag to pipe it just before baking).
- When the dough has doubled in size, knead it again quickly for a minute to get the air out. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces; shape them into balls and place on a baking tray, with enough space around them to rise.
- Leave them to rise again for another 20-30 minutes before baking them (the puffier they get before baking, the lighter they will be). Note: You can leave them in the fridge overnight to rise slowly, ready to bake fresh in the morning.
- Just before baking, pipe two stripes of the paste to make a cross on top of each bun.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius or equivalent until they are risen and cooked through and sound hollow if you tap the bottoms. While the buns are cooking make the glaze.
- To make the glaze: In a small saucepan dissolve the sugar in the water on a low heat (just simmering) for 2-3 minutes.
- As soon as the buns come out of the oven, brush their tops with sugar glaze to make them shiny and sticky, then let the buns cool a bit before you eat them!