It’s that time of the year where everyone goes crazy for hot cross buns. I don’t like them but I got a request from my boyfriend so I made some. I have never made hot cross buns and had heard that they weren’t easy to make but I like to do things that challenge me.
I never realised how long they actually took to make, these took me all in all about 3.5 hours to do mainly due to having to let the dough rise. I had a whole day making these which I think you need so that you can make sure they are given the proper time to rise.
I will say that even though they took me a while to make, I enjoyed making them as I don’t tend to make things that take so long or things that aren’t cakes really.
My boyfriend and his family really enjoyed these. I hope that ever your doing for Easter, it is chocolate filled. Happy Easter Everyone!
Bring full-fat the milk to the boil, then remove from the heat and add butter. Leave to cool until it reaches hand temperature.
Put the strong bread flour, salt, caster sugar and yeast into a bowl. Make a well in the centre. Pour in the warm milk and butter mixture, then add the beaten 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 mins until smooth and elastic. Put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl. .
Cover with oiled cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hr or until doubled in size and a finger pressed into it leaves a dent. With the dough still in the bowl, tip in the sultanas, mixed peel, 1 finely chopped apple and 1 tsp ground cinnamon. Knead into the dough, making sure everything is well distributed.
Leave to rise for 1 hr more, or until doubled in size, again covered by some well-oiled cling film to stop the dough getting a crust. Divide the dough into 15 even pieces. Roll each piece into a smooth ball on a lightly floured work surface.
Arrange the buns on one or two baking trays lined with parchment, leaving enough space for the dough to expand. Cover (but don’t wrap) with more oiled cling film, or a clean tea towel, then set aside to prove for 1 hr more.
Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Mix 75g plain flour with about 5 tbsp water to make the paste for the cross – add the water 1 tbsp at a time, so you add just enough for a thick paste.
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 mins on the middle shelf of the oven, until golden brown.
Gently heat 3 tbsp apricot jam to melt, then sieve to get rid of any chunks. While the jam is still warm, brush over the top of the warm buns and leave to cool.