Monday, 18 March 2013

Easter Treats - Hot Cross Buns!

With Easter less than 2 weeks away its time to get into the spirit and get stuck in with some fabulous Easter baking!
Everyone loves a deliciously warm hot cross bun straight from the oven so why not make a batch to enjoy with family and friends over the Easter period!

Ingredients - Makes 12

For The Buns
- 2 Tsp Mixed Spice
- 1 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
- 1 Tsp Salt
- 500g White Flour Bread
- 55g Sugar
- 100g Mixed Dried Fruit
- 25g Candied Mixed Peel
- 7g Dried Yeast
- 300ml Warm Milk
- 2 oz Cold Butter, cut into small cubes

For The Crosses
- 75g Plain Flour
- 1 1/2 Oz Cold Butter, cut into small pieces

For the glaze
- 1 1/2 Tbsp Warm Apricot Jam


Step 1

Add the flour, sugar, salt, mixed spice & cinnamon to a bowl and mix together. Rub the butter into the flour mixture using fingers. Next add the mixed peel and dried fruit, mix well. Sprinkle the yeast into the mixture and finally pour in the warm milk and mix using a spatula until the dough is soft and sticky.

Step 2

Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until a silky smooth dough has formed, this should take around 10 minutes! Lightly oil a large bowl and place the dough inside, covering with a large tea towel. Leave to rise in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size, this should take around 2 hours.

Step 3

Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knock all the air from the dough. Knead for 2 minutes. Divide the dough into 12 and roll each into a bun shape. Place the buns onto a lightly oiled baking sheet and curt a shallow cross into the surface of the buns. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave until well risen - this should take around 45 minutes.

Step 4

Preheat the oven to 220 degrees C. To make the crosses rub the butter into the flour adding 1-2 tsp of cold water, or more if necessary. Stir to create a thick dough. Cut the ball of dough into 12 and place in the fridge for 30 minutes - this will make the pieces harder and easier to roll. After 30 minutes remove pieces from the fridge and roll each into a long thin sausage. Cut each sausage in half and firmly press into the cross of the buns being careful not to knock the air out!

Bake in the preheated oven for 15 - 20 minutes or until the buns are golden brown. Remove from oven and brush the buns with the warm apricot jam.
Enjoy with butter, jam or what ever takes your fancy! All the deliciously aromatic spices for this recipe are available from Herbed Up!

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