Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Hot Cross Buns


       Something happened on Easter that I've never experienced before and hope to never again. It snowed...for the first time in my entire life, we had a white easter! Despite the glitch in the weather we still managed to have a wonderful day as a family.

Another first for me this year was the baking of hot cross buns! since moving to europe, I have come in contact with so many new wonderful foods..and being surrounded by expats has really enforced the fact that there is so much wonderful food out there to explore! Hot cross buns was not something I grew up ever having and although I kind of knew what they were, I also really had no clue either. I started getting more interested when all my friends from the U.K. started talking about a certain recipe from Paul Hollywood and that I needed to try it. So I did..and I'm glad I did. The buns are the best..like ever. There is a total of 3 hours of rising time and I'm telling you, that makes all the difference in the world. You get this seriously light and fluffy roll that is also chewy. The dough is also semi sticky and that is something I have been seeing alot more of..leaving the dough slightly sticky. I've noticed that more and more with alot of my U.K. based bread books and I'm sold on the practice. It does make the kneading slightly tricky and I do still add flour..but in very small amounts now.

I'm giving you the recipe as is..as in, I'm not converting it. I can't stress enough the importance of buying a kitchen scale. You need to weigh your ingredients. You will beable to tell a difference between a recipe that has been weighed versus scooping the flour into a cup. I weigh everything now..from the butter to the liquid to the dry. You can pick up a kitchen scale next to nothing so buy one and start weighing your ingredients!! Since I love you guys, I wont totally leave you hanging..Head over to,  Full Bellies,Happy Kids for the recipe with conversions :)

The one and only thing I changed about the recipe, was to leave the mixed peel out. We are not fans at all of the candied fuit so I added in more sultanas and we were one happy bunch.

Paul Hollywood's Hot Cross Buns

300 ml plus 2 TBS Milk..Full Fat but I used low fat
50 grams Butter
500 grams Bread flour or All-purpose
1 tsp. Salt
75 grams Sugar
2-1/4 tsp. Active Dry Yeast
1 Egg,beaten
75 grams Sultanas
50 grams Mixed Peel
Zest of 1 Orange
1 Apple,peeled,cored and finely chopped
1 tsp. Ground Cinnamon

For The Cross:
75 grams All-purpose Flour
5 TBS Water

For The Glaze:
3 TBS Apricot Jam

Bring the milk to a boil,then remove from the heat and add the butter. Leave to cool until it reaches hand temperature. Put the flour,salt,sugar and yeast into a bowl ( make sure you keep the salt and yeast on opposite sides of each other..they don't like being next to eachother and play better once they are mixed in with the wet ingredients). Make a well in the center. Pour in the warm milk and butter mixture,then add the egg. Using a wooden spoon, mix well, then bring everything together with your hands until you have a sticky dough.

Tip on to a lightly floured surface and knead by holding the dough with one hand and stretching it with the heal of the other hand, then folding it back on itself. Repeat for 5 minutes until smooth and eleastic. Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl,turning once to coat. Place plastic wrap on top and allow to rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size and finger pressed into it leaves a dent.

With the dough still in the bowl, add in the sultanas,mixed peel,orange zest,chopped apples and cinnamon. Knead into dough,making sure everything is well distributed.Cover with plastic wrap and leave to rise again for 1 hour more,or until doubled in size. 

Divide the dough into 15 equal pieces ( about 75 grams per piece). Roll each piece into a smooth ball on a lightly floured surface. 


      Arrange the buns onto parchment lined baking sheets,leaving enough room to expand. Cover loosely with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with nonstick spray or with a clean tea towel,then set aside to proof for 1 more hour.

Heat oven to 400 degrees or 200 celcius. In a small bowl, mix together the flour with enough water to make a thick paste..( I needed the full 5 tablespoons to reach that) Spoon into a piping bag with a small nozzle.


         Pipe a line along each row of buns, then repeat in the other direction to create crosses. Bake for 20 minutes on a middle shelf,until golden brown.

In a small saucepan,gently heat the apricot jam to melt, then sieve to get rid of any chunks. While jam is still warm,brush over the tops of the warm buns and then leave to cool.


Yield: 15 Hot Cross Buns
Source: Good Food