Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Make Your Own Hot Cruss Buns

With Easter just around the corner why not try and make your own Hot Cross Buns? Try your hand at making them with this step by step recipe from Taste.

Makes 16

1 1/2 cups (375ml) warm milk
2 tsp (7g/1 sachet) dried yeast
1/4 cup (55g) caster sugar
60g butter, melted
1 egg, lightly whisked
4 1/2 cups (675g) plain 00 flour
1 tsp salt
3 tsp mixed spice
1 cup (170g) sultanas
1/4 cup (45g) currants
1/4 cup (50g) mixed peel
1/3 cup (80ml) cold water
1/2 cup (170g) apricot jam

1. Combine the milk, yeast and 1 tbs of sugar in a small bowl. Set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 10 minutes or until frothy.

2. Combine the milk mixture, butter and egg in a jug and whisk to combine. Combine 4 cups (600g) of flour, salt, mixed spice and remaining sugar in a bowl. Add the sultanas, currants and mixed peel and stir to combine. Make a well in the centre. Pour in the milk mixture and use a wooden spoon to stir until just combined, then use your hands to bring the dough together. 

3. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10-15 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a bowl and cover with a damp tea towel and place in a warm, draught-free place for 1 hour or until dough doubles in size.
4. Preheat oven to 200°C. Grease a 23cm square cake pan. Punch the dough down with your fist. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 2-3 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic. Divide dough into 16 even pieces and shape each portion into a ball. Arrange dough portions, side by side, in the prepared pan. Set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 30 minutes or until dough has risen 2cm.
5. Meanwhile, mix the remaining flour and water together in a small bowl until a smooth paste forms. Place in a small plastic bag and snip off the end. Pipe a continuous line down the centre of each row of buns, lengthways and widthways, to form crosses. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 180°C and bake for a further 20 minutes or until golden and cooked through (buns are ready when they sound hollow when tapped on the base).
6. Turn onto a wire rack. Place the jam in a small saucepan over high heat. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until jam melts. Strain through a fine sieve. Brush hot jam over the buns. Serve warm with butter, or toasted.

Also known as baker's flour or strong flour, 00 flour is a super-fine grade flour, traditionally used to make pasta or bread. The gluten content is higher, giving bread its chewy texture. It is available from supermarkets and delicatessens.

Variation: To make chocolate hot cross buns, replace 1/4 cup of flour with 1/4 cup of cocoa, and replace the sultanas, currants and mixed peel with 250g of chocolate chips.

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