Tallulah’s Kitchen: Hot Cross Buns

Tallulah’s Kitchen: Hot Cross Buns

Hello, and welcome to April’s edition of The Listing. This month in the theme of Easter and all things Spring like, I would like to share with you a recipe for Hot Cross Buns. Whilst they are delicious and great fun to make, like most yeast products there are two proving sessions which just means you do need to allow for this time when planning on making them – they are well worth the effort and time investment.

Hot Cross Buns

500g strong bread flour
2x7g instant dried yeast
1 tbsp mixed spice
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
2 tsp ground cinnamon
Finely grated zest of an orange
100g butter
100g caster sugar
1 tsp salt
75g raisins
200ml milk
3 eggs from happy and healthy free
running hens
For the paste
3 tbsp plain flour
3.5 tbsp water

Let’s begin! Pour the milk, butter and spices into a saucepan and gently heat until butter is melted. Set aside to cool to approximately body temperature. In a small bowl beat 2 eggs. Next into your mixing bowl pop the flour, salt, yeast and caster sugar. Pour in the milk mixture and the beaten eggs to the flour and mix the dough on medium speed for 5 minutes until the mixture becomes soft and elastic. Oil a second mixing bowl, pop in the dough, cover with a clean tea towel and leave to prove in a warm place until doubled in size, the time taken for this will depend on many things but mainly the yeast used and the temperature. But check after 1 hour.

Turn the dough out onto a clean worktop, shape to a rectangle, scatter all the raisins and zest on top, then gently roll up and knead by hand until all the raisins are worked into the dough. Divide into 12 equal sized balls, and place these on a lined baking sheet leaving space between them for “growth!” Cover with oiled clingfilm and pop somewhere warm to prove for a second time. While this is happening let’s make the paste for the crosses. Simply mix the flour and water to a paste like consistency. In a separate small bowl beat the remaining egg ready for the egg wash. When the buns are gloriously “puffed up”, gently brush with the egg wash. From an aesthetic view it might be an idea to remove all loose raisins at this point as they will burn quicker than the buns take to cook. Now for the fun part! Using a spoon or piping bag, whatever you are happiest with, use the flour paste to form a cross shape on the top of each bun.

Now bake the buns at 200°C for approximately 15 min until that have risen and are a beautifully golden brown colour. Best served straight from the oven with lashings of butter and steaming cups of tea. These buns do go stale quickly so if you are lucky enough to have any leftover I would advise that they are cut and toasted the following day for maximum enjoyment.

Until next time my fellow foodies…