Hot Cross Buns - Margaret Browne
Hot cross buns are traditionally eaten on Good Friday, but I love them at any time!
For the dough
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 215ml/7½fl oz warm water
- 15g/½oz fresh yeast
- 1 tsp sugar
- 55g/2oz strong white flour
- 450g/1lb strong white flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp ground mace or nutmeg
- 85g/3oz unsalted butter
- 85g/3oz sugar
- 170g/6oz mixed dried fruit or sultanas
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- Oil, for greasing
- 1 tbsp apricot or your own favourite glaze gently heated, for glazing
They freeze perfectly, so make a big batch!!
- Section 1: Mix the beaten egg with enough warm water to give approximately 290ml/½ pint of liquid. Whisk in the yeast, sugar and flour, cover and put in a warm place by a radiator or on the cool plate of the cooker for about 30 minutes or until it starts to froth.
- Section 2: Start making the dough. Sieve the flour, salt and your spice of choice into a mixing bowl and rub in the butter. Make a well in the centre and put the sugar in the well. Pour on the bubbling yeast mixture
Gradually draw in the flour and mix vigorously, then knead to a smooth, elastic dough.
- Carefully work in the mixed dried fruit. Shape the dough into a ball, put it in a warm, greased bowl, cover with a clean tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place for about 1 hour.
- Turn out the dough and knead to knock out any air bubbles and give an even texture. Shape it into a ball again, put back into the bowl, cover and put back to rise for another 45 minutes.
- Turn out the dough again and divide into 12 even pieces. Shape them into buns and leave to rest for a few minutes on the work surface covered with the tea towel.
- Place the buns on a lightly greased baking sheet. Slightly flatten each bun and then cut into quarters, cutting almost all the way through the dough, so that as each bun rises, it has a well-marked cross on it.
- Cover again and put in a warm place and leave to rise for 40 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat the oven to 240C/475F/Gas 8. Make a paste for the crosses on the buns with the plain flour and 2 tbsp cold water. Mix until it is soft enough to pipe through a nozzle.
- Pipe a cross on each bun. Bake the buns for 8 -12 minutes or until risen and golden. Brush the buns with hot apricot jam as soon as they are ready. Best eaten warm
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