Hot Cross Buns

I like big buns and I cannot lie…. Hot Cross Buns, that is (although I am partial to a nicely coiffed man bun). These little gems have been injected with some extra fibre by using wholemeal flour as well as the traditional fruit n’ spice and all things nice. A lovely Easter treat! 

Preparation Time:  30 minutes / Resting Time: 110 minutes/ Cooking Time: 20-30 minutes / Makes 12 buns     

Ingredients 

The Buns

  • 2 cups wholemeal plain flour, sifted
  • 2 cups self-raising flour, sifted
  • 2 tsp yeast
  • 1/3 cup caster sugar
  • 3/4 cup mixed peel
  • 1/2 cup sultanas
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup sunflower oil
  • 1 cup milk, warmed
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten

The Cross:

  • 1/3 cup plain white flour
  • Water

The Glaze

  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tbs sugar

Method

  1. In a small bowl, place yeast into warm milk and leave for a few minutes until mixture starts to bubble
  2. Combine remaining dry ingredients (flour, sugar fruit, peel and spices),  into a separate large mixing bowl and combine evenly
  3. Add eggs and oil into yeast milk mixture
  4. Create a well in the dry mixture and slowly pour in the yeasty mixture drawing flour in towards the well. Add extra water if required to create a soft dough
  5. Knead dough until it starts to leave the sides of the bowl (it will take about 5 minutes) and then turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface
  6. Knead until it creates a smooth, consistent ball with fruit and seeds, evenly dispersed throughout
  7. Place dough into an oiled bowl and cover with cling wrap. Set mixture aside for about 60 minutes or until the mixture has doubled in size (a slightly warm temperature of around 25 degrees, away from draughts will help with this)
  8. Remove the dough from the oiled bowl and turn onto a floured surface and knead again into a ball. Place the dough ball in a clean floured tea towel for 20 minutes or until the mixture has doubled in size.
  9. Remove the dough ball from the clean tea towel and “knock back” the mixture on a lightly floured surface to disperse the carbonic gas and knead again into a dough ball.
  10. Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees (160 degrees for fan-forced ovens)
  11. Line a baking tray or roasting dish with baking paper
  12. Divide the dough ball into 12 evenly-sized balls and place onto a tray or dish leaving a finger-width distance between balls
  13. Cover the tray/dish with a tea towel and leave for 30 minutes.
  14. Meanwhile, create the cross mixture by combining flour and water to make a slightly thick but smooth mixture (similar to a craft glue consistency)
  15. Use a piping bag (or a plastic snap-lock bag with a tiny hole cut into it), to pipe the flour mixture into  crosses across the buns
  16. Bake bread for approximately 25 minutes or until slightly golden brown
  17. To make the glaze, place sugar and water into a small saucepan and bring to boil. Keep boiling for about 5 minutes until the mixture forms a thin syrup consistency. Use a brush to apply the glaze evenly across the cooked buns.

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