Video: Bake a batch of Hot Cross Buns, it’s an Easter tradition after all!

Ahead of Good Friday, Di Curtin shows us how to make Hot Cross Buns - an Easter staple.
Video: Bake a batch of Hot Cross Buns, it’s an Easter tradition after all!
Easter tradition - hot cross buns.

EASTER and the clocks going forward usually signals spring has definitely arrived. But you wouldn’t think so this year, with more snow forecast for the holiday weekend! We won’t get all doom and gloom about it though.

The extra daylight in the evening will at least fool our brains into thinking winter is truly behind us!

To celebrate, I’ve been making the traditional buns of the season. Hot Cross Buns were historically served on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. Said to represent the crucifixion of Christ, hence the cross on top, while the spices in the dough are believed to signify the spicy balms rubbed onto the body of Christ after his death.

History or not, these buns are too good to reserve for just two special days! A great tea time treat, handy to have a batch in the tin for the holiday weekend. Superb served with some country butter like that from Gloun Cross Dairy or Glenilen Farmhouse. Hot Cross Buns take a bit of time to make, because of the yeast dough which needs a double proving. So plan for a morning or afternoon in the kitchen, if you decide to have a go at making your own. Enjoy the therapeutic benefits of baking and the fragrant spicy aromas as the buns cook! I’ve made my buns with a malted strong bread flour, which gives quite a dense texture and nutty taste. You can use strong white bread flour for a lighter result.

Di Curtin's Hot Cross Buns.
Di Curtin's Hot Cross Buns.

RECIPE HOT CROSS BUNS

Ingredients (Makes 12)

275mls milk 

500g malted strong bread flour or white strong bread flour 

Good pinch of salt 

50g butter, in cubes

 2 tsp mixed spice 

Grating of fresh nutmeg 

50g caster sugar 

7g sachet fast acting yeast 

50g sultanas 

50g candied mixed peel 

Finely grated zest of a lemon 

1 medium free range egg, beaten 

For the topping:

2 tbsp plain flour 

Water to mix 2 tbsp golden syrup 

Squeeze lemon juice

Method:

  • Heat the milk to just under boiling then leave to cool to tepid.
  • Place flour and salt, in a mixing bowl or use a food mixer with a dough hook.
  • Rub in the butter to resemble breadcrumbs Add spices, sugar, yeast, fruit, peel and lemon zest and stir to combine evenly.
  • Make a well in the centre and add the beaten egg with a little of the tepid milk. Start to bring the flour into the liquid to make the dough.
  • Gradually add the remaining milk, bringing the mix together to form a soft dough.
  • Turn out onto a lightly floured board and knead for ten minutes or until the dough is stretchy and elastic and bounces back when you poke it.
  • Place in a lightly greased and floured warm bowl and cover with a tea towel.
  • Leave in a warm place for about an hour or until risen to double in size.
  • Turn out onto a floured board and knock back lightly.
  • Divide into twelve equal portions and roll into balls.
  • Place balls on a parchment lined baking tray and flatten the tops lightly.
  • Cover with a tea towel and leave in a warm place to rise again for about 40 minutes or until double in size.
  • While the buns are rising, make a thick paste with remaining flour and water and place in a piping bag with small nozzle.
  • When the buns are ready to bake, pipe crosses on top. Place in a pre-heated oven Gas 6 400F 200C for about 20 minutes or until golden and they sound slightly hollow when the bases are tapped.
  • Before the buns come out of the oven, gently heat the golden syrup with the lemon juice.
  • Brush the glaze over the hot buns straight from the oven, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  • Split and serve with butter.

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