Thursday, 28 March 2013

Hot Cross Buns

As all Brits know, any celebration or holiday, whether religious or purely commercial, means one thing - FOOD - and Easter is no exception. Forget the chocolate, in my opinion the ultimate Easter treat has to be a freshly baked hot cross bun - richly spiced, stuffed with juicy sultanas and laden with melting butter. Although every supermarket across the country seems to be doing deals on hot cross buns, tempting you by displaying them at the front of the shop and pumping cinnamon through the air-con, you really can't beat the home-made version. Although they may take time, they require very little skill, and trust me - the results are definitely worth it!

For 12 buns you will need...

1 lb strong white flour
1 tsp salt
2 oz. melted butter
1 egg
1/2 pint milk
1 oz. fresh yeast OR 1/2 oz. dried yeast + 1 tsp. sugar
1 oz. sugar
 Rind of 1 lemon
2 oz. sultanas
2 tsp. cinnamon 
2 tsp. mixed spice

A little sugar and water to glaze
A little water and plain flour for crosses

You will need to...

- Add yeast (or yeast and sugar) to warm milk and leave for 10 mins to become frothy.
- Add melted butter and egg
- Add this mixture to a large mixing bowl along with the flour, salt, sugar, spices, lemon rind and sultanas. Beat until a soft dough forms that leaves the sides of the bowl clean.
- Cover bowl and leave to rise in warm place until dough has doubled in size.
- Knead well and shape into 12 round buns. 
- Mix a little plain flour and water to form a soft dough - use this to roll 24 small lengths of pastry and place on top of buns as crosses.
- Leave covered to prove for thirty mins to an hour. Bake in a hot oven for 15 mins or until golden brown and firm on the outside. 
- Remove from oven and glaze whilst hot (heat a little water and caster sugar to make a syrup) with a pastry brush.

Enjoy well buttered! C x

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