Hot Cross Buns
Typically eaten at Easter. Why not all year round? Here’s the recipe!
1 tablespoon instant or rapid rise yeast (9 grams)
1/2 cup (110g) caster sugar (superfine sugar)
1 1/2 cups (375ml) milk, warm
4 1/4 cups (640g) bread flour (or plain / all purpose)
2 tsp cinnamon powder
2 tsp All Spice
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups (210g) sultanas
1 – 2 oranges, zest only
50g / 3.5 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 egg, at room temperature
EXTRA FLOUR FOR DOUGH
1/4 cup (35g) bread flour
1/2 cup (75g) any type of white flour
5 tbsp water
1 tbsp apricot jam
2 tsp water
Place flour, yeast, sugar, all spice, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl. Briefly mix with stand mixer fitted with a dough hook.
Add butter, milk, egg, sultanas and zest.
- Standmixer: Mix until a smooth elastic dough forms – 5 minutes on Speed 2 of standmixer. After 1 minute, add extra flour if required, just enough so dough comes away from side of bowl when mixing and doesn’t stick terribly to your fingers
- Hand kneading: Alternatively, dust a work surface with flour and knead by hand for 10 minutes.
- No knead version: all you need is a bowl, wooden spoon and 1 minute of easy stirring. The buns are slightly less fluffy and do not keep quite as well.
Leave dough in the bowl, cover with cling wrap and place in a warm, wind free place to rise until doubled in size. This will take anywhere between 30 minutes to 1 1/2 hours depending on how warm it is.
Line a 30 x 23 cm tray with baking paper with overhang.
Remove cling wrap and punch dough to deflate.
Dust work surface with flour, place dough on work surface, shape into a log – this will deflate the air. Cut into 12 equal pieces.
Take one piece and press down with palm, then use your fingers to gather into a ball, then roll the dough briefly to form a ball. This stretches the dough on one side and that’s how you get a nice smooth surface.
Place the ball with the smooth side up on the tray. Repeat with remaining dough. Line them up 3 x 4.
Spray a piece of cling wrap lightly with oil (any), then loosely place over the tray.
Return tray to warm place and leave 30 – 45 minutes, until the dough has risen by about 75% (less than double in size).
Partway through Rise #2, preheat oven to 180°C
Mix flour and water until a thick runny paste forms
Spoon into a round 3 mm piping bag or small ziplock bag then snip corner.
Remove the cling wrap and pipe crosses onto the buns. Go slow so it hugs the curves.
BAKING & GLAZE
Bake for 22 minutes, or until the surface is a deep golden brown. The surface colour is the best test for this recipe.
Meanwhile, place jam and water in a bowl, microwave for 30 seconds. Mix to combine.
Remove buns from oven. Use overhang to lift buns onto a cooling rack.
Brush with jam mixture while warm. Allow to cool to warm before serving.
Happy English learning!