Although a traditonal Easter feature, Hot cross buns are fully accessible and eaten all year round. However, nothing compares to home -made versus store -bought, so why not resist the purchase of a bumper pack? Opt instead to bake your own with this recipe kindly submitted by Birgit Gunz, owner of the successful Frankonia Bakery.
700g unbleached white bread flour
5g salt (1 teaspoon)
15g ground mixed spice (3 teaspoons)
113g butter (room temperature)
70g fresh yeast
440g dried fruit such as sultanas, currants, mixed peel
1 large egg
300ml lukewarm water
65 g flour
60 ml water
1 large egg and a little water
Before you do anything else, weigh your dried fruit and soak in water for 30 minutes, then drain water.
Weigh and prepare all your other ingredients.
Use some of your lukewarm water to dissolve yeast in a small bowl.
In a large bowl, mix your flour, sugar and salt and mixed spice together and make a well in the centre. Place your butter in little pieces on top of the flour around the sides pour your dissolved yeast in to the well.
Add your egg into the well and stir into the yeast.
With a spatula carefully stir a bit of your flour mixture from the sides into the well, slowly adding water and more flour and butter bit by bit until it is all combined.
Empty your bowl contents onto your work surface and add your dried fruit.
Now knead your dough by hand for 8-10 minutes until the fruit is properly worked into the dough and your dough feels elastic.
Place the dough back in your bowl and cover with a damp tea towel and leave to rest for 30 minutes in a warm place.
After your dough has rested, take it out of the bowl, knock it back and knead for another 2 minutes or so.
Divide your dough into 30 equal pieces and form rolls. Place these on your greased baking trays so they almost touch but not quite. Cover with a damp tea towel again and leave in a warm place to rise. Preheat your oven now to 200C.
Meanwhile make your cross mixture:
Mix your flour and sugar into the water and combine until you have a smooth paste. Place this mixture into a piping bag fitted with a plain tube.
Make your glaze by stirring a little water into the egg and mix well together.
Once the buns have doubled in size (45 minutes – 1 hour depending on room temperature).
Brush on your egg glaze and pipe a cross shape with the cross mixture onto each bun.
Put your trays in the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 180C. Bake buns for 20 minutes until they are golden brown. Once finished, place buns on a wire rack to cool.