March 30, 2010

Easy Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns
MUNCH RATING: 4/5

Although I've made Chelsea Buns using James Martin’s Hot Cross Bun recipe, I’ve never actually made Hot Cross Buns.

This recipe is from the April 2009 issue of BBC Good Food magazine and it prompted me to try as it was hailed as easy. They were quick and easy to make as no kneading was involved, but I’ve just read the comments on the website (they’ve been missing for such a long time and I didn’t realise they were back before making this recipe!) and most people said the buns were too heavy because of the lack of kneading.

They were mainly heavy because they are so big! The amount of dough could easily of made 12 ample sized buns (as the good folk say, more than a handful is too much). We found them a bit dry, even when spread with butter. But they were ten times better when toasted, hence the 4/5 munch rating. We couldn’t really taste the mixed spice either, so I would add more next time.

Some of the comments stated they thought the crosses on the buns were horrible. We had no problem with them, but I did add more water to the flour paste than the recipe suggested as I thought it was far too thick for piping. I added just enough extra water so that the paste could easily drop off the spoon and into my piping bag, which I made from greaseproof paper made into a small cone.

I would make this recipe again as it was so easy to make, but next time I might knead the dough for a few minutes. I would also try baking it in a loaf tin and then it would be easier to slice and then toast.

Happy Easter everyone!

  • Makes: 8 buns (but better off making 10-12)
  • Oven temperature: Gas mark 7/425°F/220°C
  • Oven shelf: middle

Ingredients:
FOR THE BUNS:
  • 500g strong white bread flour
  • ½ teaspoons salt
  • 2 heaped teaspoons mixed spice (needs more!)
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 50g butter, chopped into cubes
  • 200g mixed dried fruits (I used ½ currants and ½ raisins)
  • 7g sachet easy-blend dried yeast
  • 200ml milk
  • 2 eggs
FOR THE CROSSES & GLAZE:
  • 3 Tablespoons plain flour
  • 2-3 Tablespoons water
  • honey or golden syrup, for brushing

Directions:
  1. Tip the flour into a bowl and stir in the salt, mixed spice and sugar.
  2. Rub in the butter with your fingertips. Stir in the dried fruit, then sprinkle over the yeast and stir in. Gently warm the milk so it is hot (30-45 secs in the microwave), but still cool enough to put your finger in for a couple of seconds. Beat with the eggs, then pour into the dried ingredients.
  3. Using a blunt knife, mix the ingredients to a moist dough, then leave to soak for 5 mins. Take out of the bowl and cut the dough into 8 equal pieces (this was about 140g per bun).
  4. Shape the dough into buns on a floured surface. Space apart on a baking sheet, cover loosely with cling film, then leave in a warm place until half again in size. This will take 45 mins-1 hr 15 mins, depending on how warm the room is.
  5. When the buns are risen, heat oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. Mix the flour with 2-3 Tablespoons water to make a paste. Pour into a plastic food bag and make a nick in one of the corners. Pipe crosses on top of each bun.
  6. Bake for 12-15 mins until risen and golden then brush all over with honey or golden syrup (whilst the buns are still warm). The buns will keep fresh for a day. After that they are best toasted and served with butter.

2 comments:

Vera said...

Hi, Mandy! I was looking for something easy, and found your blog really helpful. Thank you!

Mandy said...

Hi Vera

Glad you found it helpful! Please let me know how you get on as I'd be interested to know your thoughts on the recipe.

Mandy x

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