I thought I’d post this recipe just in time for Easter… and because you really can’t beat a hot cross bun. They’re so delicious, it’s a real shame these aren’t made all year round. The recipe is pretty simple too, and (as far as bread goes) they’re quick to make.
makes 8 (big) buns
80 g raisins
50 g dried red fruit (such as cranberries)
zest of small orange
1 tablespoon cointreau
200 g whole milk
9.5 g yeast
400 g bread flour (use T65 in France)
50 g sugar
½ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon allspice
¼ whole nutmeg
1 small egg, room temperature
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
35 g unsalted butter, melted
for the cross;
25 g flour
7 g sugar
30 g water
for the glaze;
2 tablespoons honey
for the icing (optional);
50 g icing sugar
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cointreau
1 ¼ teaspoons milk
Combine the raisins, dried red fruit, orange zest, and cointreau in a small bowl. Stir, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside.
Heat the milk in the microwave until it is lukewarm (just 30 seconds or a minute), then sprinkle in the yeast. Set aside until it begins to foam, about 5 minutes. (Stir after 5 minutes).
In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and allspice, and grate in the nutmeg.
Add the vanilla extract to the egg, and whisk with a fork.
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and pour in the milk mixture, the egg mixture, and the melted butter. Use the dough hook, and mix on low speed until everything is combined. Then increase the speed to medium-low, and mix for 5 to 7 minutes.
Turn the dough out into a clean, lightly oiled bowl, and cover with oiled plastic wrap. Then cover with a kitchen towel, and place somewhere warm to rise until doubled in size (about an hour).
Punch the dough down, and return it to the bowl of the electric mixer. Add the dried fruit, and mix for another minute or so, using the dough hook with the machine on low speed, just to incorporate the fruit.
Grease a 7″ x 11″ (~ 18cm x 28cm) baking pan, and line the bottom with parchment.
Turn the dough out onto a wooden board, and divide into 8 pieces. Form each piece into a smooth ball, and distribute the balls evenly into the pan. Loosely drape a piece of oiled plastic wrap over the top of the buns, and place them somewhere warm to rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
Once the buns have risen, prepare the mixture for the crosses by whisking together the flour, sugar, and water in a small bowl. Transfer the mixture to a piping bag, and pipe crosses onto the tops of the buns.
Bake at 200°C (~390°F) for about 15 minutes, until golden brown. Brush with honey immediately upon removing from the oven.
While it seems that traditional hot cross buns don’t actually have an “icing” cross on top, the ones I’ve always had definitely do… and I love the icing part! So I whisked together the icing ingredients and piped that on top – definitely enhances them, in my opinion :)
Enjoy while warm!
Happy Easter! :)