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Sailing Holidays: Hot Cross Buns

March 27, 2013

Hot cross buns. One a penny. Two a penny. Hot Cross Buns!

Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns

These delicious little bread-based buns are just perfect any time of year but are traditional in England at Easter. Their slightly decadent ingredients, which include butter, milk and lots of delicious flavours, are due to the end of Lent, a time of being abstemious. One of my favourite flavour swaps is taking out the fruit and spices and using orange zest and chocolate chips instead! These little treasures don’t keep long so make them the day you want them.

Ingredients for 8 buns:

Time to rise

Time to rise

  • 50ml milk
  • 2 cardamom pods, slightly bashed
  • 1 small cinnamon stick
  • 1 clove
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • pinch of saffron
  • 7g (1 pack) quick yeast
  • 25g caster sugar
  • 100g wholewheat flour
  • 125g strong white flour
  • 50g butter
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of ground ginger
  • 2 eggs
  • 100g dried fruit
  • 2tbsp plain flour

Making the dough:

  1. Heat the milk gently in a small pan until just below boiling point. Remove from the heat.
  2. Add the cardamom, cinnamon stick, clove and saffron and leave to infuse.

    8 buns

    8 buns

  3. Put the two flours, a teaspoon of sugar and the yeast into a large bowl.
  4. Grate the butter into the bowl on top of the flour and add the salt and ginger.
  5. Beat one egg and add to the bowl.
  6. Strain the milk through a sieve into the bowl.
  7. Mix to a soft dough and turn out onto a lightly greased surface.
  8. Kneed for about 10 minutes until light and stretchy.
  9. Place back in the bowl in a ball and cover with cling film.
  10. Leave to rise in a warm place until doubled in size.

Making the buns:

  1. Once doubled in size, tip the dough out of the bowl onto a lightly greased surface and flatten.
  2. Sprinkle the fruit over the dough and kneed to evenly distribute the fruit throughout the dough.
  3. Divide the mixture into 8 balls.
  4. Place on a lined baking tray and cut a cross on the top of each one.
  5. Cover and leave to rise in a warm place until doubled in size.

Adding the cross:

  1. Beat the second egg and brush over the risen buns.HCB4
  2. Mix the plain flour with a little cold water to make a thick paste.
  3. Using a piping bag or a teaspoon and using the cut crosses to guide you, make a cross on the top of each bun with the paste.
  4. Place in the oven at 180 C for 15 – 20 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.

Making them shine:

  1. Put the remaining sugar in a small pan and add a splash of water.
  2. Heat until the sugar dissolves and the mixture thickens slightly.
  3. Brush over the buns and leave to cool on a wire rack.

Buns are best enjoyed warm with a generous helping of butter and a good cup of tea!

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