Hot Cross Buns
Every year during this period of time, there are tonnes of gorgeous looking hot cross buns pictures popping up in the blogosphere. I've been oohhing and ahhing over the pictures in the past but this year, I've decided to try my hands at making my own hot cross buns.
Since the dough needs time for proofing, I woke up early this morning and was greeted by a sunny and breezy weather, which is perfect for kneading dough! I hardly bake bread when I was in Singapore because it's just too hot and humid. And the other reason which I'm quite reluctant to admit is that, I'm a little disheartened by having too many unsuccessful bread making attempts before. But I prefer to blame it on the weather rather than my less than ideal bread making skill. ;-)
Anyway, I used Donna Hay's hot cross bun recipe, which is easy to follow and yielded a great result. The raisins and orange peels studded buns are soft, moist and full of flavour. I had it warm and smeared with a thick layer of Lurpak butter, it's simply heavenly!
Hot Cross Buns Recipe
Adapted from Donna Hay's Modern Classics 2
For the buns:
1 tablespoon dry yeast
1/2 cup caster sugar
1.5 cups milk, lukewarm
4.5 cups plain flour, sifted
2 teaspoons allspice
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
50g butter, melted
1/2 cups raisins
1/3 cup candied orange peel (optional)
For the crosses:
1/2 cup plain flour
1/3 cup water
For the glaze:
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1) Place the yeast, 2 teaspoons of the sugar and milk in a large mixing bowl. Set aside for 5 minutes, until the mixture starts to foam. This means the yeast is active.
2) Add flour, allspice, cinnamon, butter, egg, raisins, orange peel and remaining sugar to the yeast mixture. Use a spoon to mix until a sticky dough forms.
3) Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for about 8 minutes, or until it feels elastic.
4) Place in a large oiled bowl, cover with a tea towel and allow to stand in a warm place about 1 hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.
5) Divide the dough into 12 pieces and roll into balls.
6) Line a 9X9-inch cake tin with non-stick baking paper. Place the dough balls in the tin and cover with a clean tea towel. Allow to stand for 30 minutes in a warm place, or until they rise.
7) In the mean time, preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F). Combine the extra flour and water for the crosses. Place in a piping bag or a plastic bag with the corner snipped off and pipe crosses on the buns when they are ready to be baked.
8) Bake for 35 minutes or until browned and springy to the touch.
9) To make the glaze, combine sugar and water in a small saucepan. Stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved. Brush the hot cross buns with the warm glaze while the buns are hot. Serve warm, with butter.