I hope you’ve been enjoying the Easter long weekend! I have a little Easter joke to share with you today, courtesy of my four year old niece…
What do you get when you pour boiling water down a rabbit hole? Hot. Cross. Bunnies.
OK, so it’s corny (not to mention a little unkind to bunnies) but it brought a smile to my face when my niece told it to me (again for about the 10th time). The smile was probably more to do with the pure delight on my her face each time she tells the joke, rather than the joke itself.
In any case, if the weather where you are is anything like it was here in Sydney yesterday, then you might be in need of a little cheering up as well. It was a very wet, grey old day. The kind of day that doesn’t tempt you outside to make the most of the Easter long weekend. Rather, it was the perfect weather for lazy days spent indoors. Baking lovely Easter treats. Easter treats like these hot cross buns.
I’ve been wanting to bake and style a round batch of hot cross buns ever since I saw some beautiful (and I can only imagine) delicious Sour cherry hot cross buns, which appeared on the cover of last year’s Australian Gourmet Traveller. Although the sun is shining today the rain is due to return tomorrow so I may well bake a batch before the Easter break is over!
But for today, I thought it best to start with something a little less complicated. Like these more traditional hot cross buns.
I hope you all enjoy a safe and happy Easter long weekend. x
- ½ cups milk, lukewarm
- ½ cup caster sugar
- 1 tbsp active dry yeast
- 4 cups bread flour
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ whole nutmeg, finely grated
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 55 g butter, melted
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup raisins
- 1/3 cup candied orange peel, optional
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup plain flour, tightly packed
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 egg, for the egg wash
- 1 tbsp milk
- 1/4 cup apricot jam
- 1 tbsp warm water
- Place the milk, sugar and yeast in a medium bowl and set aside away from any draughts for 5 minutes.
- Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl and then add the salt, grated nutmeg and cinnamon.
- Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients. Add the melted butter, yeast and eggs.
- Mix the ingredients together until it forms a sticky dough.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5-10 minutes, until it becomes smooth and elastic.
- Return the dough to a lightly oiled or buttered bowl, then cover with a clean tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place for 45 minutes, or until doubled in size.
- On a lightly floured surface knock back the dough using your fists.
- Sprinkle the dried fruit over the dough and knead together for another minute or two.
- Divide the dough into 20 even pieces and shape each into a small dough balls.*
- Place one dough ball in the middle of a large baking tray lined with paper.
- Arrange 7 dough balls in a circle around the centre, leaving about 1 cm between each dough ball for them to expand.
- Repeat with the remaining dough balls to form a second circle.
- Cover with a tea towel and stand in a warm place until doubled in size (30-40 minutes).
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200°C.
- In a small bowl, add the plain flour and water. Stir until combined. Transfer into a piping bag and set aside until the buns have risen.
- In a small bowl, lightly beat the egg and milk together to make the egg wash.
- Lightly brush the buns with the egg wash, then pipe crosses on each.
- Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until golden.
- While the buns are baking, combine jam and warm water in a small bowl. Stir until the jam melts and becomes thinner, then strain through a sieve.
- Once baked, remove the buns from the oven and while they’re still warm, glaze with the strained apricot glaze.
- *If you’d rather not bother with the circular arrangement, you can divide your dough into either 12 or 16 dough balls and bake in a pre-lined 22 cm square cake tin.