Spiced Hot Cross Buns

Spiced toasted hot cross bun

Spiced toasted hot cross bun

I love bank holiday weekends, they are such a great opportunity for baking. What could be more topical than hot cross buns. Here is my recipe for a lovely spiced hot cross bun which I think really works. Based on a recipe on the Guardian I modified it to take into account what I had in the kitchen and other preferences.

I should note that this is actually my second attempt at making these hot cross buns. The first I followed the instructions in the actual recipe, and infused the warm milk with spices etc. I made the mistake of adding the yeast too soon, when the milk was too hot, and so denatured the yeast, and they didn’t rise. Coupled with the fact that my kitchen is near on freezing at the moment I took a drastic step and made this batch in the bread maker.

In the true spirit of lazy baking I used the tried and tested method of just throwing it all in and hoping for the best. My recipe is somewhat similar to the Guardian one – but with some modifications, for example I found their dough to be far too wet, so I used more flour.

Makes 16 hot cross buns:

  • 300g White bread flour
  • 200g Wholemeal bread flour
  • 2 tsp Ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp mixed spice
  • A pinch of saffron threads
  • 100g Butter
  • 5g Salt
  • 10g Dried yeast
  • 2 Eggs
  • 50g Demerara (or other golden sugar)
  • 200ml Milk
  • 100g Sultanas
  • 100g Chopped dried apricots
  • 50g Chopped crystallised ginger

For the toppings:

  • Plain flour
  • Water
  • 1 Egg – beaten
  • 3tbsp Golden syrup – heated in the microwave for ~20 seconds.

Thats a long list I know – sorry, feel free to improvise through, thats how I bake.

I used the bread maker on a 30 minute knead cycle, with an hour prove (it does a warm prove which is better than my normal kitchen temperature).

Knock back and shape into 16 rounds – I am anal enough to weigh each one – for me about 75g. (I should note that I have a mild obsession with Holly Bell from the Great British Bake Off – she took accurate to another level, and won my heart for it). Place on an oiled baking tray and leave to prove for 1 hour.

Then slash them with a cross and leave to open for 5 minutes. Use this time to make the flour paste from the plain flour and water, and  place in a piping bag. Before piping, wash the buns with an egg beaten with a little milk and a pinch of salt. Then pipe the criss into the slashes. Then bake for about 20 minutes at around 200°c – but keep an eye on them to make sure they dont burn first.

Whilst they are still warm brush them with the melted golden syrup. Then leave to cool.

I really like this recipe, because the crystallised ginger adds a little kick to things, and oddly enough the saffron comes through really well. Perfect Easter morning breakfast (if they last that long).




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