Now before you start singing that kid’s song you just can’t get out of your head, here’s another reason for making sweet bread as a treat. Whether it’s for your kids or not, once you try this delightful Hot Cross Buns recipe, you might change your tune after all about tasty pastry treats.
It doesn’t need to be Easter weekend to make this delicious bread-like pastry. And even though the recipe has been around since the 12th century, you’ll have to agree that this version isn’t falling behind the times. Here is what you’ll need to start:
To make the dough
- 1 cup whole milk (warmed to 105-115F degrees)
- cup sugar (confectioners)
- 5 teaspoons dry yeast (instant active)
- 4 cups flour (all-purpose)
- 1 teaspoons allspice (ground)
- teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4; sticks butter (unsalted/room temperature)
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2/3 cup of golden raisins (optional)
Making the dough
Take a large bowl and sift your flour using a flour sifter, you can also add the cinnamon, allspice, salt, and half a cup of sugar. Slice your butter into the flour and dry ingredients and then blend this together with your fingertips or with a fork. Continue this until you have what looks like a coarse-grain meal.
Now take your large egg and egg yolk and whip these together in a small bowl. You can choose to add raisins to your egg mix if you like. In a separate bowl, add your yeast to the milk and a teaspoon of sugar and mix it, letting it foam up. Take your butter-flour mixture and form it into a bowl shape within your bowl. Now you can add your eggs and the milk mixture and work this through the flour until you have a dough-like consistency.
Now you can remove the dough into a countertop and work this dough so it’s smooth and elastic. Use extra flour to keep your hands from sticking. This can take up to 10 minutes since you mixed your flour into the butter first. It will take time to properly hydrate from the milk and yeast mixture. When this is done, form the dough into a ball and place this into an oiled bowl for rising. Put a damp towel over the top and let it sit for 1 hours.
Prepping your baking sheets
Now you’ll want to have a cookie baking sheet that is prepped with butter on the inside of the pan. When your dough is ready you can now roll it into a long log shape. Divide your log in half and then make 6 pieces from each half. You should now have one dozen pieces that are all shaped into balls. Space them 1 inches apart on the cookie tray and place this in a warm area for another 45 minutes.
Baking your buns
Set the cooking racks in your oven to have one rack placed close to the top and one at the lower rung. Now you can preheat your oven to 400F degrees. You’ll be cooking your buns on these two levels for a total of 12 minutes. This means that you alternate the baking sheet from the bottom for 4 minutes, back to the top for 4 minutes, and then back to the bottom for 4 minutes.
While your buns are baking, you can start to prepare the toppings. You will need:
- cup smooth apricot jam
- cup sugar (confectioners)
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1/4; teaspoon vanilla aroma
As your buns are beginning to rise in the oven, take the apricot jam and warm this up in a saucepan on medium heat. Keep an eye on this jam and stir until it gets nice and smooth. In a separate small bowl place your sugar, milk, and vanilla and whisk them together until it’s smooth and creamy. When your buns are finished, remove them from the oven and move them to a cooling rack. Then you can take a pastry brush and paint the tops of the buns with warm jam.
After this is done you now take a small spoon and dab the creamy sugar over the top in the shape of a cross. Hence the name of the pastry-like bread- Hot Cross Buns. Enjoy!