With Easter fast approaching, it might be time to start baking the buns of the season!
I’ve already indulged in my annual fix of Hot Cross Buns. I love them toasted and slathered in good cold Irish butter! What a treat with a cup of coffee in the mornings!
I’ve dug out this recipe for those who want to get ahead of themselves. Although be warned, one batch never lasts that long!
Ingredients (makes 12)
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 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
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, 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 remaining milk, bringing 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.