For as many years as I can remember Good Friday has been a baking day at my house and this year we have continued the tradition.
This morning we were so pleased with our first batch of hot cross buns, we made a second batch!
This year was the first time that my twelve year old son has wanted to be involved (apart from eating them, of course!). He watched everything I did along the way, checked for when they had doubled in size and were ready for the next step, piped the crosses on the top just before they were baked and made the glaze to brush over the buns when they came out of the oven. He did well!
My eldest daughter moved out of home a couple of years ago. Much to my dismay, she has never shown any interest in anything involved with cooking in her life….(no, I take that back; she can whip up a mean bowl of fruit salad!) I was comforted though, by the fact that her boyfriend can not only cook, but shows a very creative interest in cooking, so at least she doesn’t starve!
This year my daughter decided to excel herself to the nth degree…she asked for my Hot-Cross Buns recipe!
She used a plastic salad bowl to mix them in and had to look up the conversion of the measurements to cup quantities on the internet, then they were baked on a pizza tray, but she did it! I am so proud of her….she phoned to tell me that her first attempt at Hot-Cross Buns was a success! Her boyfriend, The-Good-Cook-In-The-House, even gave them his stamp of approval.
There will be no Easter Eggs for my daughter this year…while she is so inspired by cooking, I am giving her a glass mixing bowl, a baking tray and a set of kitchen scales instead! 🙂
No excuses now, give this recipe a try….if my daughter can make them, so can you!
A couple of tips from my daughter….she will keep practising the recipe throughout the year by making them without the crosses, calling them fruit buns and has individually wrapped some of the buns and put them in the freezer to keep them fresh longer.
Happy Easter Everyone! 🙂
2 x 7g sachets dry yeast
300ml milk, warmed
4 cups plain flour, sifted
1 teaspoon cinnamon
90g butter, cubed
¼ cup sugar
1 ½ cups mixed dried fruit
Crosses – ½ cup plain flour
4 to 5 tablespoons water
Glaze – ½ cup water
¼ cup sugar
1 teaspoon mixed spice
Combine flour and cinnamon in a bowl. Rub in the butter until mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
Stir in dried fruit, sugar and yeast.
Make a well in the centre of the dry mixture and add the beaten egg and lukewarm milk.
Combine the mixture well. Turn out onto a lightly greased surface and knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic. This will take approximately ten minutes. (Alternately, the kneading process can be done in an electric mixer with a dough hook). The mixture should ideally remain tacky and moist, as this will produce lighter buns when cooked.
Place the mixture in a lightly greased bowl and cover with a tea towel. Allow to rise in a warm, draft free place for about 45 minutes, or until doubled in size. (My hot water heater is inside a cupboard and placing the bowl on top of the heater keeps it lovely and warm for rising).
Punch down the dough with your fist to release the gas. Divide the dough into 16 equal pieces. Knead each piece for a minute and shape into rounds.
Place onto a greased oven tray, cover and allow to rise again, until buns have doubled in size.
Mix together the flour and water and pipe crosses onto each bun. If you don’t have a piping bag, place flour mixture into the corner of a plastic bag, snip off a very small bottom corner of the bag and pipe the crosses on by squeezing the flour mixture out of the tiny hole in the bag.
Bake the buns in a hot oven, 220 degrees C, for 10 minutes. Reduce temperature to 200 degrees C and cook for a further 10 minutes. They are cooked when they sound hollow, when tapped with your knuckles.
Place the glaze ingredients into a small saucepan, bring to the boil while stirring then simmer for 1 or 2 minutes without stirring. Brush the glaze over the buns while still hot.
Serve with butter.