So we’ve had the super speedy recipe, now time for something that involves a little more effort, something for those of you whose ideal morning is one spent baking. Or if it’s not but you feel like putting in a bit more effort than you usually have time for. Or if you just think, damn they look good, I’m going to give those little buggers a whirl. All i would say is, do it. These are SO much better than anything you’ll buy in the supermarket and once toasted, with a lick of butter, they are positively dreamy.
Now for the bit that some of you might hate me for, you will need a stand mixer to make these. The dough is similar to a brioche and as a result is quite wet and takes a LOT of kneading, in short, without the help of a stand mixer, it would take forever and you’d be cursing me all day long for making you embark on such a task. With a mixer however, it’s pretty simple and doesn’t involve much more than plonking a load of ingredients into the bowl, flicking the switch and letting it get on with it. They’ll also freeze really well so you’ll have a delicious tea time treat at just a moments notice.
Hot Cross Buns:
- for the dough:
- 250g plain flour
- 5g dried yeast
- 60g unsalted butter, melted
- 30g caster sugar
- 120ml whole milk
- 1 egg
- pinch of salt
- 50g mixed fruit
- for the spice syrup:
- 125ml water
- 100g caster sugar
- vanilla extract/paste/pod
- about an inch of cinnamon stick
- 2 cloves
- for the crossing mixture:
- 100g flour
- 100g water
Sift the flour, sugar and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer then add the milk, egg, melted butter and yeast.
Using the dough hook attachment, put the mixer on full speed and just let it keep kneading the dough until it no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl and has formed a ball around the hook. It will still stick to the bottom though and it’s quite a silky dough given all of the milk and butter so don’t think you’ve done something wrong. It should look like this:
Form the dough into a smooth ball and place in a bowl, covered, to rise at room temperature for 20 minutes.
Next, pat the dough out into a rough rectangle (do not worry if yours, like mine, doesn’t turn out to be that rectangular…) and scatter over the mixed fruit.
Now you need to knead the mixed fruit in so that it’s evenly distributed throughout the dough.
I find that the easiest way of dividing the dough up is to weigh it out, i tend to make each bun about 40g-50g but obviously you can make them bigger or smaller depending on your preference, you just want them similar sizes so that they bake in the same time.
Roll each piece of dough into a ball, keeping them covered with cling film as you do the rest.
Allow the buns to rise for about an hour. Whilst they are rising, make the crossing mixture, simply combine the flour and water and stir to get rid of any lumps. Put the mixture into a piping bag and put aside until needed. If you don’t have a piping bag, cut the corner of a plastic sandwich bag and use that instead. Once the dough is ready, put onto a baking tray and pipe the crosses over the top.
Place in a preheated 180C oven until golden brown. Whilst they’re cooking, make the spice syrup.
In a pan place the water, sugar and spices. Bring to the boil, then switch off and allow the flavours to infuse until you like the taste, you shouldn’t need the spices in there for that long.
Once the hot cross buns are cooked, brush them generously with the spice syrup, making sure they’re well covered.
They will keep for a few days in an airtight container (if they last that long) or up to a month in the freezer.