It’s Easter in less than a week and I already have my fat pants at the ready! And what is Easter without hot crossed buns, over the years I have tried lots of recipes and been disappointed but now I have found the perfect recipe and I wanted to share it with you. I love hot crossed buns for breakfast on Easter Sunday, to me the whole weekend is about family and friends eating lots of good food together.
450g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
2 x 7g sachets easy-blend yeast
50g caster sugar
150ml warm milk
1 egg, beaten
50g unsalted butter, melted, plus extra for greasing
oil, for greasing
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp mixed spice
¼ tsp grated nutmeg
4 tbsp plain flour
2 tbsp granulated sugar
Put the flour, yeast, caster sugar and 1 tsp salt into a large mixing bowl with the spices and dried fruit and mix well. Make a well in the centre and pour in the warm milk, 50ml warm water, the beaten egg and the melted butter. Mix everything together to form a dough – start with a wooden spoon and finish with your hands. If the dough is too dry, add a little more warm water; if it’s too wet, add more flour.
Knead in the bowl or on a floured surface until the dough becomes smooth and springy. Transfer to a clean, lightly greased bowl and cover loosely with a clean, damp tea towel. Leave in a warm place to rise until roughly doubled in size – this will take about 1 hr depending on how warm the room is.
Tip the risen dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for a few secs, then divide into 12 even portions – I roll my dough into a long sausage shape, then quarter and divide each quarter into 3 pieces. Shape each portion into a smooth round and place on a baking sheet greased with butter, leaving some room between each bun for it to rise.
Use a small, sharp knife to score a cross on the top of each bun, then cover with the damp tea towel again and leave in a warm place to prove for 20 mins until almost doubled in size again. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.
When the buns are ready to bake, mix the plain flour with just enough water to give you a thick paste. Spoon into a piping bag (or into a plastic food bag and snip the corner off) and pipe a white cross into the crosses you cut earlier. Bake for 12-15 mins until the buns are golden and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. While still warm, melt the granulated sugar with 1 tbsp water in a small pan, then brush over the buns.