Continuing my Easter Baking I just had to make Hot Cross Buns, the Easter holiday is not complete without them! I decided this time to use a Paul Hollywood recipe, having made a bread recipe of his a while back and it turned out really well, so I was confident these too would be pretty good. The recipe says it makes 15, but I got 17 out of it, you can also adjust the amount of fruit and spices to your liking. The addition of apple is a nice touch, and gives a lovely fresh fruity flavour to the dough.
Hot Cross Buns (A Great British Bake Off Recipe)
For the buns
300ml Whole Milk
500g Strong White Flour
75g Caster Sugar
1 tsp. Salt
7g Sachet Fast-Action Yeast
1 Large Egg, beaten
80g Mixed Peel
1 Apple, cored and chopped finely
2 Oranges, zest only
2 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
Sunflower Oil, for greasing the bowl
For the cross
75g Plain Flour, plus extra for dusting
For the glaze
3 tbsp. Apricot Jam
Bring the milk to the boil, then remove from the heat and add the butter. Leave to cool until it reaches hand temperature.
Put the flour, salt, sugar and yeast into a bowl. Make a well in the centre. Pour in the warm milk and butter mixture, then add the egg.
Using a wooden spoon, mix well, then bring everything together with your hands until you have a sticky dough.
Tip on to a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 mins until smooth and elastic.
Put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with oiled cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hr. or until doubled in size
With the dough still in the bowl, tip in the sultanas, mixed peel, orange zest, apple and cinnamon.
Knead into the dough, making sure everything is well distributed. Leave to rise for 1 hr. more, or until doubled in size, again covered by some well-oiled cling film to stop the dough getting a crust.
Divide the dough into 15 even pieces.
Roll each piece into a smooth ball on a lightly floured work surface. Arrange the buns on one or two baking trays lined with parchment, leaving enough space for the dough to expand.
Cover (but don’t wrap) with more oiled cling film, or a clean tea towel, then set aside to prove for 1 hr. more.
Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7.
Mix the flour with about 5 tbsp. water to make the paste for the cross – add the water 1 tbsp. at a time, so you add just enough for a thick paste.
Spoon into a piping bag with a small nozzle. Pipe a line along each row of buns, then repeat in the other direction to create crosses.
Bake for 20 mins on the middle shelf of the oven, until golden brown.
Gently heat the apricot jam to melt, then sieve to get rid of any chunks. While the jam is still warm, brush over the top of the warm buns and leave to cool.
And enjoy toasted and slathered in butter with a nice cup of tea!