Whenever I had hot cross buns as a child, there was some special, unique taste I got from them that I thought could only be achieved with the use of artificial flavourings, and additives. Thus, when I set out to make my own, I didn’t have many hopes.
Well, strike me down and call me a liar! (Actually, please don’t; that would kinda hurt… 😛 )
These hot cross buns tasted exactly like the hot cross buns of my childhood! Sure, they were kinda dry once they cooled, but a quick sprinkling of water and a zap in the microwave soon set them straight. Plus, I made the crosses from white chocolate, instead of that chewy, tasteless flour-water cross the shops used to do.
Hot Cross Buns
Recipe from Serious Eats
- 1/2 cup (125mL) warm water
- 2 Tbs sugar
- 1 Tbs instant yeast (make sure it’s live)
- 1 tsp sugar
- 3 cups flour (preferably bread flour – I used normal flour, and added some gluten according to the packet instructions)
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/3 + 1/2 cup dried fruit (I used 1/2 cup craisins, 1/3 cup sultanas, soaked in Cointreau)
- 1/4 (60mL) cup more warm water
- 2 1/2 Tbs (40mL) honey
- 1/3 cup (80mL) oil
- 1 egg
- 2 tsp vanilla
- Marmalade (optional)
- Cointreau (optional)
- White chocolate (optional)
- Mix the 1/2 cup warm water, 2 Tbs sugar and yeast in a mug. Cover with clingwrap and leave for 5 minutes.
- Whisk 1 tsp sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt together in a separate bowl.
- Stir the fruit into the flour mixture.
- Whisk together the 1/4 cup water, honey, oil, egg and vanilla.
- Add the yeast mixture to the honey mixture and pour into the flour mixture.
- Beat with a large spoon until dough starts to form.
- Knead for 5 minutes (if you must, add some flour to reduce stickiness).
- Place in a well-oiled bowl, cover, and leave to rise in a warm-ish place for 2 hours.
- Divide dough into 12 balls,
- Grease a 20 x 20cm square cake pan.
- Put the dough balls in the pan, cover, and allow to rise an hour.
- Bake at 175°C for 25 – 30 minutes.
- Stir together marmalade and Cointreau to a syrup consistency.
- While the buns are still hot, brush over the marmalade.
- Allow to cool completely before removing from pan.
- Melt the white chocolate (I do this by sealing the chocolate in a snap-lock bag and immersing the bag in hot water – I snip of the corner to pipe) and pipe crosses onto buns.