This afternoon I decided to take a leap into my baking unknown and attempt the lofty challenge of making some fruity, spicy hot cross buns.
Given my lack of experience in breadmaking I naturally turned to New Zealand’s original queen of baking, Alison Holst, for a recipe. A quick Google search proved successful, I made shopping list and after a short trip to the supermarket, immediately got to work on these gorgeously plump Easter buns.
Genuinely shocked at the rather positive outcome – a few eager and compleletly impartial taste testers (Mum, Aunties, cousin, brother et.al.) all made the right noises – I encourage anyone interested in giving them a go to do so… Immediately!
I think I’ll make another batch and add more cinnamon and mixed spice, but other than those wee changes I think the recipe works a dream.
My delicious hot cross buns.
Alison Holst’s Hot Cross Bun Recipe (via www.food.com)
2 tablespoons active dry yeast, e.g. Surebake active yeast mixture
2 cups flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup milk, cold
1 cup boiling water
50 g butter, melted
1 cup mixed fruit
1 tablespoon mixed spice
1 tablespoon cinnamon
3 -4 cups flour
1/2 cup flour
2 tablespoons oil
water, to taste
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup sugar
- Measure the yeast mixture, flour, brown sugar and salt into a large bowl. Stir to mix and then add the cold milk followed by the boiling water. Stir thoroughly to mix.
- Leave to stand for 3 minutes. Melt the butter and assemble the rest of the ingredients.
- Once the 3 minutes is up, stir in the rest of the ingredients except for the flour.
- Now add as much flour as need to make a dough just firm enough to turn out on a board and knead. [The original recipe suggests 3 cups. I needed 4.].
- Knead the dough for 5-10 minutes until smooth and satiny and it springs back when you press it with a finger.
- Oil a large bowl and turn the dough ball in this until it is all coated. Cover the mixture with plastic wrap and leave to stand until it doubles it original bulk.
- Turn out on a floured board, knead lightly and cut into 30 evenly sized pieces.
- Form each piece into a ball and arrange the buns in rows in a dish or pan with at least 1 cm between them. A roasting dish works well and takes about 15 buns.
- Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F and when ready turn the heat down to 200°C/400°F.
- Put crosses on the buns.Make a paste of the flour and oil and then add enough water to make a dough that can be forced out of an icing bag. Pipe the crosses on the buns.
- Put the buns in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes until they brown slightly and feel firm. Remove from oven and glaze with a hot syrup made by heating sugar and water.
- Cool buns on a rack. Store in airtight containers when cold.
- If you want to make a smaller quantity, halve the ingredients except for the egg. You may need more flour.
Note: Makes 30. Serve warm with butter and homemade jam (if your lucky enough!), we had some beautiful apricot jam to crack open and it was divine!