Hot Cross Buns4:24 AM
I had no plans to make or post hot cross buns today but sometimes you just prepare things to make others happy. In my case its my 5 year old sonny boy. Both the kids got their shots yesterday and while going to bed my cranky sonny boy in pain asked for something sweet for breakfast. No, the usual pancake will not do, he wanted something new that he has not tasted yet...so on Easter morning I set myself to prepare these delights. Funnily enough I kept on humming 'one a penny, two a penny hot cross buns...' while kneading the dough.
This is comparatively a very easy recipe. I researched a bit and was sure that any sweet dough would do justice to these sweet, dry fruit laden, pillowy buns. I chose to add more sugar than recommended as I know my little bunny would love it sweet. Paired with a glass full of milk this is sheer bliss.
Hot Cross Buns
for the buns:
Flour: 2 cups
Butter: 3 tbsp
Egg: 1 small
Milk: 1/2 cup
Yeast: 11/4 tsp (active dry yeast)
Sugar: 1/4 cup
Clove powder: 1/4 tsp
Cinnamon powder: 1 tsp
Ginger powder: 1/2 tsp
Nutmeg powder: 1/4 tsp
Zest of one orange
pinch of salt
Mixed dry fruits and peels: 3/4 cup; I used a mix of tutti frutti, cranberries, goji berries and raisins
for the paste to draw the cross
flour: 2 tbsp
water: 2-3 tsp
For the glaze
any jam that you like 2 tsp
Take out 1 tbsp milk and heat the rest with the sugar. stir to melt the sugar and then add the butter. Let it cool.
In the meantime mix the flour, spice powders and salt. Grate the orange skin on the flour but make sure you dont grate in the white pith. Rub the whole mixture with your finger tips for the orange flavour to infuse.
Heat the milk for a few seconds in the microwave with a pinch of sugar. We need lukewarm milk for the yeast to activate. Make sure the milk is not hot as this will kill the yeast. Measure and mix in the yeast to this milk.
Once the milk butter mixture comes to room temparature pour in the yeast to the dry ingredients. Mix in and then add the milk mixture. Mix and finally add the egg. Now mix to get a rough dough to incorporate all the flour.
Take the out on a clean work surface and start kneading. With the palm of your hand try to stretch the dough and bring it together. If the dough feels very sticky you might have to add a tbsp or two of flour. keep needing and folding for at least 8 minutes. The dough should feel supple and silky under your hand and once lightly pressed it should spring back.
Now spread the dough with your hand and place the dry fruits in one layer. Roll from side and bring everything together. Knead to spread them evenly across the dough.
Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with cling wrap. place in some warm location (I always place it either in my oven or microwave) and let it double in size for at least 1-1.5 hours.
Once the dough is risen take it out and knock out the air. Roll it into a log and cut in half, then cut each half in 4. Roll them between your palms and make a smooth dough. Press slightly to get the shape of bun.
Place them on a greased baking pan. You might place them close enough so that they touch each other while baking. I like mine smooth and round so I place them quite far from each other. Cover with oiled cling wrap and let it rise again for 30-45 minutes.
15-20 minutes before you start to plan baking pre heat your oven at 190C.
Make the paste by mixing the flour and water. The consistency should be of thick cake batter. Place it in a ziplock bag or in a butter paper cone. just before putting the buns into oven draw a cross on each bun. Bake for 20-25 minutes or untill the tops are golden.
Make a paste with the jam and water. Brush the top of each bun with this glaze as soon as you get them out. This will make the crust soft and chewy.
Serve them hot or sell them for a penny each :-)
And thats my Happy Benny Bunny enjoying breakfast.