Easter is nearly upon us and we all have different ways of celebrating this Holiday.
For me it is all about having some time with friends and family and enjoying some fabulous food.
One of the key ingredients to Easter celebrations is Hot Cross Buns. For those who know me, they will know that I have an allergy to cinnamon and therefore can not enjoy shop bought Hot Cross Buns, so for me I needed to find a substitute for the ‘spices’ that are added to the dough before baking.
To be honest it wasn’t really a problem as I used ginger instead, it has just the right amount of kick that you would also get from the traditional use of cinnamon and cloves.
This is my recipe below, if you prefer to have the traditional spices, then please feel free to replace the ginger with the same quantity of cinnamon and enjoy.
The best way to enjoy the fabulous treats are to allow them to cool for 10-15 minutes and then slice them open and load them up with some delicious butter. Or, the other way is to allow them to cool completely, slice through the middle and then pop them into the toaster so they are just golden brown and then load up with the butter, simply delicious and perfect for a breakfast treat over the Easter weekend.
I do hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
Hot Cross Buns
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Delicious spicy Hot Cross Buns, ideal at any time of year, however they are a favourite at Easter. Perfect for breakfast, lunch or afternoon tea.
I like to use my food processor for this stage, as it helps with the distribution of the butter, weigh the flour, salt and ground ginger/mixed spice into a large mixing bowl and tip it into the bowl of your food processor, then add the butter and pulse for 20-30 seconds until the butter is chopped and like very small peas.
Turn on your food processor again and through the funnel add the sugar and lemon zest and yeast.
Pour the milk into a jug and heat until warm but not hot, add the egg to the warm milk and mix to break up the egg.
With the motor of the food processor running, pour the milk/egg mixture into the machine and allow it to come together to form a soft, pliable dough.
Lightly flour your work surface and take the dough out of the food processor.
Flatten the dough down a little and then scatter the mixed dried fruit over the dough and work it into the dough until well combined.
Knead lightly for 5 minutes, or until smooth and elastic.
Grease a large, mixing bowl with butter or flavourless (vegetable/sunflower) oil.
Shape the dough into a ball and place it into the prepared bowl, rolling it around to ensure it is covered in butter/oil, then cover with clingfilm/lid and leave in a warm place to double in size (approx 1 hr, will depend on how warm your kitchen is).
When the dough has doubled in size, lightly flour your work surface again and flatten the dough out a little, cut the dough into 12-15 equal pieces, (75g-90g).
I use the scales for this stage to ensure the buns are all the same size, as you need this for baking.
(Tip, weigh the dough and then calculate the weight for each bun on how many you want, 1100g dough = 12 x 90g or 15 x 75g buns).
Cover a baking tray with a piece of grease proof paper and roll each piece of dough into a ball, and lay on the tray, leave approx 2-3 cm between each bun to allow them to rise well.
Preheat the oven to 240C conventional/220C fan/475F/Gas 8.
Cover the buns again with clingfilm, place them near the oven and allow to rise for 40 minutes.
For the topping
Place the plain flour into a small bowl/ramekin and add 2 tbsp of cold water, mix together to form a smooth paste.
Spoon the mixture into a piping bag or small sandwich bag (with the corner snipped)
When the buns have risen, remove the clingfilm, pipe the cross on each bun with the flour mixture, make sure you do this slowly so the mixture clings to each bun and you have the cross.
Place the buns to the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until pale golden-brown. (depending on the size of your buns).
To make the glaze, place the golden syrup or orange marmalade into a small pot and when you remove the buns from the oven, brush them with the hot topping, then set aside to cool on a wire rack.
The best way to enjoy the fabulous treats are to allow them to cool for 10-15 minutes and then slice them open and load them up with some delicious butter.
Or, the other way is to allow them to cool completely, slice through the middle and then pop them into the toaster so they are just golden brown and then load up with the butter, simply delicious and perfect for a breakfast treat over the Easter weekend.