We can’t live without hot cross buns forever, can we?
No then. So, to take some of the horror out of the supermarket-bun-situation one has to make them oneself. “Make my own hot cross buns?? Are you mad??!” I hear you cry. Don’t panic, I hate baking but these are easy as boiling an egg. You can’t boil an egg you say? Honestly!
Make them please. Then eat one with real butter. They make lovely gifts too.
Mix together the flour, salt and sugar in a bowl. Dice the butter and rub it in with your fingertips. Make a well in the flour mixture.
Crumble the yeast into the water so that it dissolves and pour the yeasted water, milk and egg into the well. Bring the dough together with your hands or with a spatula. This is quite a soft dough and may feel a little wet and sticky, but don’t panic, just be persistent.
Turn the dough out on to a clean kitchen surface and knead for 10 minutes. Just as you reach the windowpane stage, gently knead in the mincemeat so the fruit is evenly distributed without getting all broken up. Put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth and leave to prove for about 80-90 minutes or until doubled in size.
After proving, cut the dough into 10 equal pieces, form into rolls and place on a non-stick baking tray or a tray lined with baking parchment, leaving enough room in between each so that the buns can prove and grow without touching. Leave to prove again for 60-80 minutes or until doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F/Gas 5), then make up the paste for the crosses. Mix the flour, sugar and milk in a bowl – the paste needs to be the consistency of thick custard. Brush the buns with beaten egg yolk, spoon the paste into a piping bag with a 3 mm (¼ in) nozzle and pipe’a cross on each one. Bake the buns for 16-18 minutes, until rich gold in colour. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Sugar glaze after baking: Bring 50g sugar and 50 ml water to the boil in a pan, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Boil for five minutes, until reduced to a syrup, then brush over the loaf for a glossy sheen.
Nutrition info is irrelevant for hot cross buns! But no added nasties as with the mass produced buns of our time.
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