Friday, April 6, 2012

hot cross buns 2012

I use this hot cross bun recipe Libby discovered years ago, and posted last year. I have always found it to be an excellent recipe but had mixed results this year, and thought I would update the recipe with a few 'critical success factors' that improved them for me. Today's batch was perfect.

So here's the revised recipe for 2012, complete with a few tips...

- Don't be too heavy-handed with the fruit; too much produces a heavier bun

- Soaking the fruit overnight or at least for half an hour makes a huge difference, they are plumped up and delicious. I cover the fruit with boiling water, and grate in the lemon and orange zest at this stage too. (I always soak dried fruit for any kind of baking...or use some of the whisky soaked raisins I always keep in the fridge for the market)

- Using the water from the soaked fruit adds a nice sweetness to the buns, and helps them colour up well while baking, I always do this.

- When leaving the dough/buns to rise it should be covered tightly with clingfilm to produce the warm, humid conditions needed. A teatowel thrown over does not suffice; the dough will dry out and form a crust on the outside, preventing it from rising.

- Making the dough at night and leaving the shaped buns to rise somewhere cool for the 8 or so hours overnight will work in a pinch, but will always be heavier. Ideally let them rise somewhere warm for 1-2 hours; it gives a much lighter result.


100g raisins or sultanas
100g currants

Cover with boiling water and leave for an hour until plump, grate in the zest of 1 orange and 1 lemon.

50g flour
2 tsp dried yeast
2 tsp sugar
1/4 cup warm water                     

Combine in a small bowl leave for 10 minutes to go foamy.

500g flour
2 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 tbsp dutch cocoa (for depth of colour not flavour)
1 cup warm water
60g butter, cubed

Combine flour, salt, spices and 10g of the butter. Mix well and add the warm water (you can use the water from the soaked fruit). Knead for about five minutes until a smooth dough is formed. Add extra flour if needed.

Gradually add the remaining butter bit by bit, kneading it into the dough. At this stage I sometimes add a third of the drained dried fruit.

Leave to rest for 10 minutes then mix in the dried fruit and citrus zest. Add extra flour as necessary - you want the dough to be smooth and satin-y.

Cover with gladwrap and leave to rise for an hour or so.

Shape into 12 buns (weigh them if you want to be exact!) and leave to rise until doubled in size on a tray or in a shallow tin.

In the morning, make a paste with 1/4 cup of flour, 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1tbsp oil and enough water to make a smooth paste (about 2-3 tbsp).

Using a piping bag, pipe crosses onto the buns then put them into the over for 20-25 mins at 190 degrees Celsius. While they are baking, prepare a glaze with 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup of boiling water and stir until smooth - add a little orange zest or vanilla paste if you wish. When the buns are baked, place them onto a cooling rack and brush over the glaze.

Enjoy hot from the oven with real butter!

1 comment:

  1. Hello! I made these this morning/last night and they were great. I did think there was a little too much fruit though, so interested to see you thought the same. I also thought it required a bit of faffing about to get the texture right, possibly needs more water?
    I shaped the buns last night and let them rise in the fridge overnight, then let them come to room temp (about two hours) before baking them this morning, which is great for convenience reasons (ie get out of bed, take buns from fridge, return to bed!). Have eaten so many now that I'm quite happy to let this little project rest until next year. Happy Easter!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...