Easter Hot Cross Buns
This weeks cooking class was bread making and since Easter is just around the corner I thought hot cross buns would be appropriate. In addition to the hot cross buns we also made a Sicilian style Focaccia bread which is more like a poolish dough and was taught to me by the lovely ladies at Al Dente and I will post that also in the next few days.
I love making bread dough by hand, I just couldn’t imagine using a bread maker or a dough mixer, there is something very satisfying and personal about creating bread that you don’t get when using machines to produce it. Or is it maybe I am a gluten for punishment, watching the clock tick away the minutes I have been kneading? But with a class group the ten minutes for kneading just flew by as we all chatted and shared our latest news.
I used Peter Reinharts cinnamon bun dough for this recipe which I made my Chelsea Buns from and just added the fruit and spice into the mixture.
These can be easily adapted to suit vegan’s by using a vegan margarine (I use Olivani) and water instead of milk.
- 100g castor sugar
- 80g butter
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 450g high grade flour
- 2 tsp instant yeast
- 2 tsp mixed spice
- 1 cup warm milk (approx)
- 100g fruit (mixed, sultanas or raisins)
- Cross Paste (2 tbsp flour & 4 tbsp water)
- Sugar glaze (2 tbsp sugar & 1 tbsp water heated gently to dissolve)
- Heat oven to 180C and line a baking sheet with parchment.
- Beat sugar and butter together.
- Add egg and vanilla extract.
- Add the flour, spice, yeast, fruit, salt and milk and bring together to form a tacky but not wet bread like dough. Adjust with additional flour or milk if not right.
- Knead dough for 10 minutes and then allow to rest in a warm place till double in size. Spray with oil and cover bowl with a plastic bag.
- Divide the dough into 9-12 pieces and shape into buns.
- Place dough buns ½ inch apart so when they swell they will join. Cover again with a plastic bag and prove until double in size.
- Meanwhile, for the topping, mix the plain flour & water to a smooth paste that you can pipe.
- Spoon the paste mixture into a piping bag and pipe a cross on each bun.
- Bake for 15-25 minutes depending on size of bun, or until pale golden-brown.
- As soon as you remove the buns from the oven, brush them with the hot sugar glaze, or warmed syrup, then set aside to cool on a wire rack.