Hot Cross Buns
Hot cross buns can be a great Easter treat without being terrible for you. Check out our recipe which swaps out the sugar for honey.
450g strong bread flour
150ml warm milk
75ml warm water
1 egg, beaten
4 T dried yeast
1 t salt
3 t ground mixed spice
1 t ground cinnamon
bowl of boiling water
50g butter, room temperature
For the crosses
40g plain flour
10g butter, room temperature
For the glaze
2 T honey
PREP TIME - 30 minutes
COOKING TIME - 30 - 60 minutes
MAKES - one loaf
1. Place your sultanas in the bowl of boiling water while you get out all your ingredients. This allows the sultanas time to suck up some water to make them plump and juicy even after being cooked.
2. Using a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt, yeast, mixed spice and cinnamon.
3. Make a well in the centre, adding the butter, milk, water, honey and beaten egg. Then mix everything together until it forms a dough, don't be afraid to get in with your hands.
4. The dough now needs to be left for 1 1/2 - 2 hours for it to double in volume. If it is a warm day leaving it on the bench will work, but if not put your oven on the lowest temperature and place the covered bowl in the oven with the door slightly opened.
5. Once risen knock back the dough by kneading for a good 15 minutes. Once your arms are sore and it doesn't seem that it could need to be kneaded any more, knead some more! This ensures that your buns are stretchy not cakey when you have finished. Before your arms fall off, divide the mixture into 12 portions.
6. Roll each portion into a ball and place on a lined baking tray about 5cm apart. Leave to rise for another 45 minutes.
7. Whilst they are rising, preheat the oven to 220 C. Then make the dough crosses by mixing the flour and butter and moulding it into long dough strips. Once the buns have risen, take the dough strips and apply a little water to the underside (using your finger works great) and stick it (water side down) to the top of the bun, trimming any overhang. Take a second slightly wet strip to form the cross and trim.
8. Bake the buns in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.
9. As soon as the buns come out of the oven looking a lovely golden-brown, brush the tops with honey and leave to cool on a wire rack.
10. Enjoy for the next two days topped with butter or creamed honey, or freeze to enjoy another day!