I know I know the ship has sailed and Easter has come and gone BUT it is Easter Monday so I’m not too out of kilter. Did you have a good Easter – albeit one that none of us had planned? I think having wonderfully hot weather helped – so much so we had our main Easter meal in the early evening outside in the garden. It all felt rather summery and wonderful. It might seem a little strange me posting a hot cross bun recipe now, but I use this blog as a record of my cooking exploits and I will be returning to this recipe in the future. I felt that if I don’t write down the recipe I will forget it for next year. I had planned to post it a week ago but I only managed to find some bread flour (albeit a little out of date) in my cellar on Saturday. I had been looking for bread flour for some time when I had been doing our food shop, but alas I was always out of luck. So I was thrilled to find a bag of it hidden away in my cellar. Please note my cellar is basically my pantry and is not as strange as it sounds.
So I spent the Easter weekend trying to perfect the art of hot cross bun making, something I had not done before. The first batch I made tasted great but the dough had not risen to my liking in the resting period. Basically my house wasn’t providing enough heat to make it rise sufficiently (well that was my excuse!).
The second time I found a cunning way to make dough rise and will be using this method going forward. Basically you turn your oven on a low heat for 10 mins and then turn off the oven. Keep the door of the oven slightly ajar and pop in your bowl with your dough inside, covered, for a couple of hours and then BINGO you have perfect dough that has risen. Again when I let the dough rest for the second time, once I had made the dough into individual buns, I did the same thing and it worked perfectly. Maybe you have a warming oven, warm laundry room, or just live in a warm climate so do what works for you.
I followed Jamie Oliver’s recipe, which I had seen him creating on instagram. For the honey glaze at the end I added a little of ginger syrup to the honey, but other than that I stayed pretty close to his recipe.
I was pretty happy with the way they turned out and they tasted really delicious.
Here is the recipe and I think it is pretty straightforward. Have you made them before? Whose recipe do you follow?
Hot Cross Buns
200ml semi-skimmed milk
55g unsalted butter
a little nutmeg
455g strong bread flour
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp sea salt
55g caster sugar
7g dried yeast
30g stem ginger
2 tbsp flour and a little water
2 tsp honey
1 tsp stem ginger syrup, optional
- Warm the milk and melt the butter in a pan and add a little nutmeg. Leave to one side once the butter has melted.
- Mix the strong bread flour, cinnamon powder, sea salt and caster sugar together.
- Next add the dried yeast and egg and the milk/butter/nutmeg.
- Use a spoon to mix together and then turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead of 10 minutes.
- Place in a clean bowl and cover. Heat an oven for 10 minutes and then turn off completely and keep the oven door ajar. Place the bowl with the dough in the warm oven (which has been switched off) and leave for a couple of hours. It will double in size.
- Turn it out of the bowl and spread it open (see photo above) and add the stem ginger and sultanas. Fold over and then roll into a long sausage.
- Cut into 12 even parts and roll into a ball and place on a baking sheet. Keep them close together so that they will end up touching once they have been left to rise again.
- Return to the warm (although switched off)oven for 20 minutes. Remember to keep the oven door ajar.
- Mix some flour with water to create a smooth paste – not too runny. Spoon into a pipping bag and then snip off the end and create crosses over the buns.
- Heat the oven to 190 degrees fan and bake for 15-20 minutes. Once baked place them on a rack to cool.
- Mix the honey and stem ginger syrup together and brush over the top of the hot cross buns.
Delicious to eat when still warm, although you can always heat them up at a later stage or eat them at room temperature.