Hot cross buns. I think they are just about my favourite thing at Easter. Fresh and hot, straight out of the oven, they are Just. The. Best. Given as gifts over the Easter weekend they come up absolute trumps as well. Wrap them in a little brown paper and twine and I can gurantee they will be appreciated more than something store bought.
Another lovely thing is that most of the ingredients are available from within less than 100 miles of where we live here in the Barossa.
Lauckes organic flour, The Dairyman’s cottage butter, local Jersey Fresh milk, our hens eggs, currants, sultanas and dried oranges. The only exceptions really are a few dashes of spice and sugar. Although as I write this I cant help but think that it would be worth giving them a go with honey as a substitute. Maybe next year…
But for now here is the recipe for this todays batch. Based around a classic Margaret Fulton recipe I have played with the spices and fruit to suit our families taste.
Hot Cross Buns
4 cups Plain flour
2 oz butter in small knobs
1 tsp of each ginger, allspice and cinnamon
1/2 cup castor sugar
1 cup of dried currants and sultanas soaked in 2 teaspoons of vanilla overnight
A handful of finely sliced home dried oranges if you have them
1 tbsp dry yeast
1 cup of lukewarm milk
1 egg slightly beaten
egg white and brush
Glaze – 2 tbsp sugar dissolved in 4 tbsp water over heat
Baked on cross mix – 4 tbsp flour + 2 tbsp water mixed + in piping bag
Sift and then mix together flour, spices and salt in an upright mixer. Add butter and mix until even crumb consistency forms. Then add sugar and dried fruit. In a jug combine warm milk, yeast and egg. With mixer on low pour this mix into the flour/ fruit mix slowly until a soft dough forms. Knead on a lightly floured board. Put into a clean, greased bowl and cover with a tea towel. Leave in a warm draught free place until the mix has doubled in size.
Once doubled (around 1.5hrs) pat the mix down into a rough square shape around 2cm in height. Cut into 16 similar sized pieces and roll into balls. Arrange balls next to each other in a high sided and greased baking tray. Cover and allow to rise for another 20 – 30 minutes. Pipe on crosses and then brush with egg white. Bake in a hot oven 200 deg C for approx 20 minutes, or until buns are evenly browned on top.
When buns are finished cooking, remove them from the oven and brush them with the sugar glaze mixture.
Wait just long enough that they wont burn your fingers and then tear them apart and serve with fresh better and hot tea. Delicious!
Happy Easter lovelies X Ilona