Monday, 1 March 2010

Eostre; Hot cross Buns

Well February went quickly! Happy St Davids day to the Welsh.

Right onto Hot Cross Buns. Whether the origin of these buns is Christian or Pagan doesn’t change the fact that they are rather scrummy and good fun to make with your Littleuns. The local supermarkets and bakers will have them if you really don’t want to make them but if like us you like a challenge and getting a little mucky then here’s the recipe:


For the ferment starter
1 large free-range egg, beaten

215ml/7½fl oz warm water
15g/½oz fresh yeast1 tsp sugar
55g/2oz strong white flour

For the dough

450g/1lb strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
1 tsp salt
2 tsp ground mixed spice
85g/3oz unsalted butter, cut into cubes, plus extra for greasing
85g/3oz sugar
1 lemon, zest only
170g/6oz mixed dried fruit

For the topping

2 tbsp plain flour
vegetable oil, for greasing
1 tbsp golden syrup, gently heated, for glazing

1. For the ferment starter, mix the beaten egg with enough warm water to make up approximately 290ml/½ pint of liquid.

2. Whisk in the yeast, sugar and flour until the mixture is smooth and well combined, then cover and set aside in a warm place for 30 minutes.

3. For the dough, sieve the flour, salt and ground mixed spice into a large mixing bowl, then rub in the butter using your fingertips. Make a well in the centre of the mixture, then add the sugar and lemon zest to the well and pour in the ferment starter.

4. With your hands, gradually draw the flour at the edges of the bowl into the well in the centre, mixing well with the ferment starter, until the mixture comes together as a dough.

5. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead lightly until smooth and elastic.

6. Carefully work the mixed dried fruit into the dough until well combined.

7. Grease a large, warm mixing bowl with butter. Shape the dough into a ball and place it into the prepared bowl, then cover with a clean tea towel and set aside in a warm place for one hour to prove.

8. Turn out the proved dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knock back the dough. Shape it into a ball again and return it to the bowl, then cover again with the tea towel and set aside for a further 30 minutes to rise.

9. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and divide it into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, then flatten slightly into a bun shape using the palms of your hands. Cover the buns again with the tea towel and set aside to rest for 5-10 minutes.

10. Grease a baking tray with butter and transfer the buns to the tray. Cut a cross in each bun, almost cutting all the way through the dough, so that each bun is almost cut into quarters.

11. Wrap the tray with the buns on it loosely in greaseproof paper, then place inside a large polythene bag. Tie the end of the bag tightly so that no air can get in and set aside in a warm place for a further 40 minutes to rise.

12. Preheat the oven to 240C/475F/Gas 8.

13. Meanwhile, for the topping, mix the plain flour to a smooth paste with two tablespoons of cold water.

14. When the buns have risen, remove the polythene bag and the greaseproof paper. Spoon the flour mixture into a piping bag and pipe a cross over the cuts in each bun.

15. Transfer the buns to the oven and bake for 8-12 minutes, or until risen and pale golden-brown. As soon as you remove the buns from the oven, brush them with the hot golden syrup, then set aside to cool on a wire rack.



Crystalrainbow said...

Yum they looks amazing, hubby caught a glimps when i was browsing and has made me promise to make him some :)im sure they wont look anything like yours lol kitchen not my fav room!!

Bethan said...

Diolch yn fawr iawn !

Helo o Gymru !

Thank you for your Sant Dewi day greetings and for your wonderful blog.


Bethan ( Snowdonia, Gwynedd ).