Traditional hot cross buns. The PERFECT recipe for Easter!
Christmas-check. Valentines Day- check. St Patrick’s Day- check. Easter, you’re up next! As the blog “seasons” fly past and my hair gets slightly grayer, I continue to try and come up with somewhat unique recipe posts. But sometimes recipes are better left alone; they just can’t be topped, and for me hot cross buns fall into that category.
I’ve been eating traditional hot cross buns since I was in diapers (almost). Some plump sultanas and other raisins along with a heavy dose of spices is all I look for…wait I almost forgot to mention the cross. If it’s made with frosting I’ll steer clear of it. Traditional flour and water for me.
Of course if you prefer to add chocolate chips or cherries, go ahead. That’s the cool thing about baking and cooking – make it to suit yourself and you never know, you might just hit the jackpot! I eat these spicy buns with a slew of butter, sometimes toasted and always with coffee. In fact, as I’m writing this I can see four of them in front of me and I’m already thinking about breakfast. This is the second batch I’ve made in the past month. For the first bake I used all-purpose flour and although they looked Easter-licious, something wasn’t quite right. This time I used bread flour and they turned out so much better.
Traditional Hot Cross Buns
- 4 cups bread flour
- 2 gram x 7 envelopes of dried yeast
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- Pinch of salt
- 1 cup raisins
- 1 cup sultanas
- 4 Tablespoons butter
- 1 1/4 cups milk
- 2 eggs beaten
For the cross
- 1/2 cup flour
- 6 Tablespoons water
- Mix the flour and water together to form a thick smooth paste.
For the glaze
- 1/3 cup water
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
For the buns
- Preheat the oven to 385 degrees F. Butter a 13 x 9 inch cookie tray and set aside.
- In a large bowl mix the flour, yeast, sugar, spices, salt, raisins and sultanas together. In a small pan melt the butter and add the milk to it. Heat until lukewarm and pour into the flour mixture.
- Add the beaten eggs on top and mix until the dough forms a ball, coming away from the sides of the bowl. Lightly grease the bowl with olive oil and set aside.
- Dump the dough onto a flour dusted work top and work it into a nice round ball. Place back into the large bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let sit for about 1 1/2 hours and doubled in size.
- Once the dough has risen, dump it back out onto the table. Knock all of the air out of it and divide it into 12 equal parts. Roll each piece of dough into a ball and place on the buttered baking sheet, seam side down until you have a 4 x 3 formation.
- Cover loosely with plastic and let rest for about another two hours until well risen and the balls are butting up against each other.
For the cross
- Once the buns are ready for the oven make the flour cross mixture.
- Add it to a small zip lock bag and snip the corner from it. Use this to pipe the long lines from one end of the buns to the other. Turn it around and line the buns again creating the cross shape.
- Place them in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes or until golden brown on top.
For the glaze
- As they are baking make the syrup glaze. Bring to a boil in a small pan and simmer for about two minutes. Once they come out of the oven, glaze liberally at once with the syrup and let cool for 10 minutes.
- Serve warm with butter.