Easter Hot Cross Buns

Do my buns look big this Easter?

Usually is pretty quiet in this household during Easter, we don’t celebrate it except a few Easter chocolate eggs here and there. I couldn’t even bother to fight with the crowd for fresh seafood ready for the Sunday Easter feast, instead we bought spaghetti, pasta sauce and beef mince; so reheat Spagbo will be on the menu for the next few nights. Bliss.

I am not in the mood for cooking this Easter, but I do have cravings for freshly baked goods. So the only way to satisfy one’s cravings is to bake it myself. I walked past Bakers Delight the other day and witnessed the madness of crowd fighting over hot cross buns, I thought surely it can’t be that difficult to make your own, right? And that’s exactly what I did when I got home yesterday, I made my own hot cross buns this Easter.

Karen (Citrus and Candy) has a recipe for hot cross bun which she adapted from Fresh Living, and the buns look so gorgeous on her post, so I thought I will give the recipe a try and hopefully my buns will turn out as good as hers. I am so glad I did and oh boy, are these buns good or what?! Besides, who doesn’t love the smell of fresh baked goods right out of the oven.

This is a recipe supposedly to make 12 hot cross buns, but in my case – I can only came up with 11 ‘man-size’ hot cross buns. I was pretty confident I can divide the dough evenly into 12 small balls and fit snugly in the pan. Only then I noticed I miscalculated and missing one, hence eleven it is (because Judas is naughty, so he is not having any!) Despite missing one dough, the balls still risen and filled all the gaps nicely.

Unfortunately I’ve mixed the white flour paste bit too watery, so the crosses on the buns are a little runny and dripped down into gaps. Oops! But is all good, glazed with apricot jam (I used quince jam) and sprinkled with some almond flakes to cover up the blemishes, all good! :D

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Easter Hot Cross Buns (makes 12 or 11 in my case)

Ingredients
310ml warmed milk
60g caster sugar
7g instant dried yeast
600g plain flour, sifted
1 tsp salt
1.5 tsps ground cinnamon
1 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
60g butter, softened
1.5 cups of raisins / sultanas (375ml) - or to taste
2 eggs

To finish
60g plain flour
60ml water
2 Tbl apricot jam, warmed in a pan over low heat and strained

Method
1. In a bowl, whisk together the sugar, milk and yeast together until sugar has dissolved. Cover and set aside for 10 minutes or until it becomes frothy.

2. Mix the flour, salt and ground spices in a large bowl. With your fingers, rub the butter into the flour until mixed and crumbly. Stir in the raisins/sultanas, egg and frothy yeast mixture until combined.

3. On a lightly floured surface, knead the bread dough for about 5 minutes until smooth and elastic. Lightly grease another large, clean bowl, place the dough in and turn to coat the surface with grease. Cover in clingwrap and leave in a warm, draught-free place for 45 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.

4. When ready, remove the clingwrap and use your fist to punch down the dough (one of life's greatest pleasures). Give it a quick knead until smooth and divide into 12 rounds.

5. Place the buns into a greased 20 x 30cm baking tray, cover with clingwrap and leave in warm place to rise for 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 200°C.

6. Whisk together the plain flour and water to a smooth paste. Pipe crosses on top of the buns and bake at 200°C for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 180°C bake for a further 15 minutes. Buns are ready when it sounds hollow when you tap the tops.

7. Brush with warmed apricot jam while the buns are still warm.
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