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Easter Hot Cross BUns
Posted by Alison Baker Wednesday, 23rd March 2016
Traditionally we eat Hot Cross Buns on Good Friday. There are many myths about these buns; a 12th century monk was thought to be the first person to mark the bun with a cross. A legend also says that if you hang a hot cross bun from your kitchen rafters it will stay fresh for a year. The cross on the top means they are blessed and can expel bad spirits.
Despite all of the history surrounding hot cross buns, we, as a nation love them and they are available not only at Easter time, but for most of the year, at all of our supermarkets.
What about having ago at making them? If you haven’t made anything using yeast before, don’t be put off, yes it takes a little more time but it is very easy, this recipe doesn’t even need kneading.
The recipe is ideal for the bread proving drawer on the Rangemaster NEXUS 110, developed to prove all sorts of yeast dough at the optimum temperature. Don’t try and prove the dough in the fan oven as it will become too hot and kill the yeast. A warm place in the kitchen will work just as well, although it may take longer.
You can use any type of dried fruit in the recipe and vary the spice too. Grated orange zest is also a good addition.
These are gorgeous eaten the day they are made but just as good toasted the next day! They will also make a great bread and butter pudding but I doubt you will have enough left for that!
You can also freeze them, slice in half, and put a small piece of baking parchment between each half before freezing. They can then go into the toaster or under the grill from the freezer without you having to wait to halve them.
One of our leading supermarkets is suggesting we put grilled bacon in a hot cross bun! I am not too sure about that, what do you think?
This quantity will make 8 large Hot Cross Buns.
- 500g strong white bread flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 heaped teaspoons ground mixed spice or a mixture of mixed spice and cinnamon
- 50g caster sugar
- 50g solid coconut oil or butter
- 200g mixed dried fruit - currants, sultanas, raisons, dried cranberries, dried chopped apricots
- 7g sachet of fast action dried yeast
- 200ml milk
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- To make the crosses – 3 tablespoons plain flour
- To glaze – honey or golden syrup
- Put the flour, salt, mixed spice, sugar and coconut oil or butter into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the fat is rubbed into the flour. Transfer into a large mixing bowl.
- Add the dried fruit and yeast.
- Warm the milk gently and whisk into the eggs.
- Add the milk and eggs to the mixture and mix to combine gently.
- Turn on the bread proving drawer on your NEXUS.
- Leave to stand in the bowl covered with cling film for 5 minutes.
- Divide the mixture into 8 portions (weigh the whole amount and divide into 8). Gently roll each portion into a bun shape and place onto a lightly greased baking tray leaving plenty of space between each bun. Make sure you can get the tray into the bread proving drawer.
- Cover with oiled cling film and place in the bread proving drawer or leave in a warm place to rise until the buns have increased in size by about a half. Take a photo on your phone so you can compare.
- Pre-heat the fan oven to 200C; gas 7; conventional oven 210C, centre shelf.
- Mix the flour for the crosses with water to form a smooth thick paste. Put into a piping bag with a narrow nozzle or cut the corner off a clean food bag. Cut a shallow cross on the top of each bun with a sharp knife and pipe in the flour mixture.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden and rise. The buns will sound hollow when tapped on the base when they are cooked. Remove from the baking tray onto a cooling rack.
- Brush with a little honey or syrup for a shine while warm.