This has become a bit of a tradition in our house, and every year I look forward to knocking some of these out for family and friends. The whole ritual of kneading dough, the smell of the cinnamon and the expectation of freshly baked buns, does it for me every time. This year I’m trying Paul Hollywood’s version, he is a master baker with very nice eyes. Paul leaves the dough to rise three times, a new one on me but I have the dough proving as I write so by tea time we should be tucking in. Why not join me in making this friday a very ‘Good’ one.
This was the result and apart from needing more fruit and spice for my liking, they were absolutely delicious, soft, squishy and very moreish.
What you will need
300ml (1/2pint) full-fat milk , plus 2 tbsp more
50g (2oz) butter
500g (1lb 2oz) strong bread flour
1 tsp salt
75g ( 2 1/2oz)caster sugar
1 tbsp sunflower oil
7g sachet fast-action or easy-blend yeast
1 egg , beaten
100g (4ozs) sultanas ( Paul says 75g, in my book thats too skimpy)
50g ( 2oz) mixed peel
zest 2 oranges
1 apple , peeled, cored and finely chopped
1 tsp ground cinnamon ( Next time I’m adding 1tsp of mixed spice aswell, I like them spicy)
How to make your Hot Cross Buns
- Bring the milk to the boil, then remove from the heat and add the butter. Leave to cool until it reaches hand temperature. Put the flour, salt, sugar and yeast into a bowl. Make a well in the centre. Pour in the warm milk and butter mixture, then add the egg. Using a wooden spoon, mix well, then bring everything together with your hands until you have a sticky dough.
- Tip on to a lightly floured surface and knead by holding the dough with one hand and stretching it with the heal of the other hand, then folding it back on itself. Repeat for 5 mins until smooth and elastic (alternatively mix for 5mins in a kenwood chef using a dough hook) Put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with oiled cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hr or until doubled in size and a finger pressed into it leaves a dent.
- With the dough still in the bowl, tip in the sultanas, mixed peel, orange zest, apple and cinnamon. Knead into the dough, making sure everything is well distributed. Leave to rise for 1 hr more, or until doubled in size, again covered by some well-oiled cling film to stop the dough getting a crust.
- Divide the dough into 12 even pieces. Roll each piece into a smooth ball on a lightly floured work surface. Arrange the buns on one or two baking trays lined with parchment, leaving enough space for the dough to expand. Cover (but don’t wrap) with more oiled cling film, or a clean tea towel, then set aside to prove for 1 hr more.
- Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Mix 75g (3oz) of plain flour with about 5 tbsp water to make the paste for the cross – add the water 1 tbsp at a time, so you add just enough for a thick paste. Spoon into a piping bag with a small nozzle. Pipe a line along each row of buns, then repeat in the other direction to create crosses. Bake for 20 mins on the middle shelf of the oven, until golden brown.
- Gently heat the apricot jam to melt, then sieve to get rid of any chunks. While the jam is still warm, brush over the top of the warm buns and leave to cool.