Sunday, April 20, 2014

Hot Cross Buns

Happy Easter everyone!  It's such a beautiful Sunday morning and we had this scrumptious hot cross buns for breakfast today.  I know that traditionally these buns are served on Good Friday, but clearly I didn't plan for Easter week--hung my head shamefully :)  This year's Easter is such an easy going day for my family, in fact, I think I'm going for a hike instead of having dinner later on.

I've made hot cross buns a long time ago.  I blogged about it and posted in my old food blog; I can't recall how that recipe fares with this one.  Remember that I'm making a promise to re-post recipes from the old blog?  This is a re-post on the buns but with a new recipe which I think is as equally good.  That's why I had two for breakfast with my coffee!

Hot Cross Buns

Yields 10 buns

500 grams bread flour

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground clove

75 grams unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, at room temperature

50 grams granulated sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 large egg, at room temperature

250 ml warm milk

1 teaspoon active dry yeast

175 gram dried mixed fruits--I've used a combination of raisins, currants, yellow raisins, and candied orange peel.  The amount is up to you, you could omit one or the other fruits.

1 egg, beaten

Hot Cross Paste

100 gram unbleached all-purpose flour

30 gram confectioners' sugar

80 ml milk

Dissolve yeast in a bowl with warm water.  Mix together the flour, cinnamon, clove, salt, and sugar in a large bowl.  Rub the softened butter with your fingertips and make a well in the flour.  Pour dissolved yeast along with the egg into the well.  Bring the dough together with your hands or with a spatula.  This is a quite soft and supple dough.  If it feels a little wet and sticky, don't panic, just stay with it and be persistent.  Avoid the temptation to add extra flour.

Turn the dough on to a clean surface and knead for 10 minutes.  Just as you reach the windowpane stage, add the dried mixed fruits to the dough and gently knead for a few minutes to distribute the fruits.  The goal is to distribute the fruits evenly but not the point of them being broken.  Put the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with damp cloth and leave to prove for about 90 minutes.  A good place to put the dough will be in a preheated oven that has been turned off.

As an alternative, a mixer with the dough hook attachment can be used if needed.  The steps will be the same as above.

Once the dough has doubled in size, turn the dough onto a clean work surface and gently pat to release the gas.  Cut the dough into 10 equal pieces, form into rolls and place on a nonstick baking pan or lined with parchment; leaving enough room to allow each bun to proof and grow without touching.  Leave to proof again for 60 to 80 minutes or until doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 350F.  While waiting, make the paste for the crosses by mixing together the flour and sugar in a bowl.  Add milk to form a paste that is a piping consistency, add a tablespoonful or more if needed.

Brush the buns with the beaten egg.  Spoon paste into a piping bag and pipe a cross on each bun.  Bake the buns for 25 to 28 minutes or until rich golden in color.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Note:  if you like, you can brush the buns while they are still warm with a simple sugar glaze.  It is made by combining 50 ml water with 50 gram granulated sugar, heat until sugar is dissolved and let cool.  It will add shine to the buns.

Source:  adapted from Fireside Bakery's Hot Cross Buns, the link can be found here.  Italics is mine.

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