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Saturday, April 3, 2010
Posted by ZOMT

Hot Cross Buns (3)

What do you get when you pour hot water down a rabbit hole?

Hot cross bunnies!

Haha I know! I'm hilarious!

In all seriousness though, I was quite surprised that these were so easy to make. This was the first time I worked with yeast so I was a bit apprehensive. When I say apprehensive, I mean I couldn't wait til the morning I had planned to bake and started making the dough at 10pm at night and was subsequently up until 1:30am in the morning with a divine smell of cinnamon and sultanas and chocolate. So apprehensive but still can't wait!

On that note of sultana or chocolate - I just say why choose? Go both! I actually added in extra amounts to the recipe so these are packed full of sultanas AND chocolate chips. I also used half wholemeal flour, I was too scared to go the whole hog though. I thought this would make them too dense. Also replaced the butter with sunflower spread and the caster sugar with brown sugar. Added in allspice as well because, well just because I like my spices.

You need a good few hours though to allow for the proving and rising of the dough, but the ingredients are basic and the process is simple. The results are worth it; I will never buy hot cross buns again when I can make them fresh at home. (Except from my lovely friend Pip who makes the best hot cross buns at Baker's Delight of course...I can't beat a pro!)

Hot Cross Buns (1)

Hot Cross Bunnies
15-16 serves / approx. 275 cal per serve
approx macronutrient breakdown: 9.6g fat /45.5g carbs / 5.3g protein

300ml low fat milk
14g instant yeast
2 cups plain white flour
2 cups plain wholemeal flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
90g sunflower spread
1 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
1 cup sultanas
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/3 flour
1/4 water

1 tbsp apricot jam
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/3 cup water

Hot Cross Buns (2)

Lightly grease a baking tray and set aside. Warm the milk in the microwave or on the stove top; it should be warm enough that you can still put a (clean!) finger in it. Sprinkle the yeast over and set aside for 5 minutes until foamy. (I whisked my a little to allow the yeast mix.)

Sift the flour, cinnamon and allspice into a large bowl. Rub the sunflower spread in with your finger tips until it resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar, chocolate chips and sultanas.

Whisk egg into the milk mixture. Pour over the dry ingredients and mix into a soft dough. Bring the dough together with your hands and once it is in a general lump, turn it out onto the bench and knead for 10 minutes until smooth and elastic.

Place the dough into a lightly greased (large) bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, then a tea towel and allow to rise in a warm place* for about 45 minutes until it has double in size, (also known as proving.)

At this stage, preheat your oven to very hot at 220 degrees Celsius.

Once the dough has risen, punch it down to release the gas. Knead on a lightly floured surface for a few minutes, until smooth. Divide the dough into 15-16 equal pieces. Knead each piece until smooth and shape into rounds. Place close together on the prepared tray and cover with a tea towel. Stand in a warm place for another 40 minutes until double in size. They should be all nice and snug up next to each other now!

Whisk the extra flour and water together until quite thick; you don't want this to drizzle as you need the crosses to hold their shape. Pipe the crosses over the risen buns.

Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven down to 180 degrees Celsius and then bake for a further 5-10 minutes - the buns will sound hollow when you tap them.

For the glaze, combine the ingredients in a pot over a low heat and simmer gently until the sugar has dissolved and it has slightly reduced. Brush over warm buns and serve fresh**.

*I used a warm oven that was completely turned off as my apartment was quite cold at the time. **You can pop these in the freezer and reheat them - if you don't eat them all fresh you must heat them up warm in the oven or microwave as the texture goes a bit 'stale' after 24 hours.

Hot Cross Buns (6)


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