Time for a belated bun. I didn’t get my act together and post Hot-Cross Buns in time for Good Friday, and for this I apologise, but technically it’s still the Easter Holidays and these buns are too darn good to make but once a year. I know they are very cheap to buy but there are many, many perks to making your own, believe me. Perk One, they aren’t soggy and cardboardy. Point two, you can add extra sultanas (for me, the fruitier the better). Thirdly, you can make them as big as your face. Which I did. Need I say more?
Hot Cross Buns
Makes 6 face-sized buns or 9 more dainty morsels.
450g strong plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 sachet yeast
1 tablespoon clear honey plus extra for glazing
50g caster sugar
200 ml whole milk
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp mixed spice
Preheat the oven to 190. Warm the milk and butter until the butter melts. Add the tablespoon of honey and the sugar. Set aside and add the sultanas to get plump and juicy. Sieve the flour spices and salt into a mixing bowl. When the milky sultana mix is blood warm, pour in the yeast and stir until dissolved. Leave for a minute or two. Then mix in the egg into the liquid. Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and stir, using first a spoon then your hands to bring it all together. Knead until smooth and elastic. Place in a clean oiled bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave in a warm place until doubled in size. Knock it back and shape the dough into 6/9 even sized balls. Place an inch or so apart on a flat lined baking tray and cover again. Leave until doubled in size. Cut a cross on the top of each bun with a very sharp knife, then pipe into the cross a loose batter of flour and water, stiff enough to hold, wet enough to pipe. Bake in the oven for about 15 mins, until risen and brown. Glaze with lots of honey when they come out, and eat warm or cold, with lots of salty butter.
A word on the consumption of hot cross buns: Even fresh from the oven, I prefer these buns toasted, the crunchy exterior, toasted spice and melted slab of butter is heaven. But each to their own. Enjoy any which way you prefer. Except in moderation.