One a-penny, two a-penny… Hot cross buns!

Seeing as we won’t be able to sell hot cross buns at church this year, I asked one of our star bakers to share their recipe.  I hope you enjoy baking them almost as much as eating them – Perhaps next year you might fancy making a few extra for after church!

  • 450 grams plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon caster sugar
  • 150 ml hand-hot water
  • 1 level teaspoon salt
  • 50 grams. mixed peel (I don’t use this because I don’t like it, but you can easily get it from Migros)
  • 50 grams melted butter
  • 40-50 ml. warmed milk
  • 1 level teaspoon (7 grams) dried yeast, or 17 grams fresh yeast
  • 1 rounded teaspoon ground mixed spice (if you haven’t got any, a mixture of equal quantities cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, coriander and ginger might also work)
  • 75 grams currants (if you can’t get currants use sultanas)
  • 50 gr caster sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons water

First stir 1 teaspoonful of sugar into the 150 ml hand hot water, then sprinkle in the dried yeast and leave it until a good frothy ‘beer’ head forms.

Meanwhile sift the flour, salt and mixed spice into a mixing bowl and add the sugar, currants and mixed peel.

Next, make a well in the centre, pour in the yeast mixture plus 40 ml of warm milk, the beaten egg and the melted butter.  Now mix it to a dough, starting with a wooden spoon and finishing with your hands (add a spot more milk if it needs it).

Then transfer the dough onto a clean surface and knead it until it feels smooth and elastic—about 6 minutes.  Pop it back into the bowl, cover the bowl with a lightly oiled plastic bag (a pedal bin liner is ideal) and leave it in a warm place to rise. It will take about an hour to double its original size.  Then turn it out and knead it again, back to its original size.

Divide the mixture into 12 round portions, arrange them on the baking tray (allowing plenty of room for expansion) and make a deep cross each one with a sharp knife. Leave them to rise once more, covering again with the oiled polythene bag for about 25 minutes. then bake the buns for about 15 minutes.  While they are cooking, melt the sugar and water over a gentle heat and brush the buns with it as soon as they come out of the oven to make them nice and sticky.

I let mine rise on the floor as I have underfloor heating and it works well.

All sounds a bit fiddly, but it’s worth it when they are cut through the middle and heaped with butter!

Here’s a challenge – If you’re feeling really brave, send me a photo of your creations and we can have a “virtual bake-off” competition! Email your entry to churchwarden@long.org.uk

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