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RECIPE : Hot Cross Buns

Easter weekend is upon us, so spoil your family with freshly baked hot cross buns. The sweet aroma of cinnamon and fresh bread wafting through your house will be a treat. Get your kids involved by letting them help with measuring the ingredients, kneading the dough and making the crosses. This could become your new Easter tradition.

 

Ingredients

300ml full cream milk

zest of 1 orange

50g butter, cubed

500g white bread flour, plus 140g for the crosses and extra for dusting

1 tsp cinnamon

85g brown sugar

7g instant dried yeast

1 tsp salt

1 large egg, beaten, plus 1 egg to glaze

oil, for greasing

50g raisins

50g cranberries

 

For the spiced honey butter

100g salted butter, softened

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground ginger

2 tbsp honey

 

Method

  • Warm the milk and orange zest in a small saucepan until steaming. Remove from the heat and add the butter, swirling the pan until the butter has melted and the milk has cooled to hand temperature.
  • Mix the flour, cinnamon, sugar, yeast and salt in a large bowl. Pour in the milk mixture and the beaten egg, and mix with a wooden spoon until the mixture clumps together. Tip out onto your work surface and knead until smooth and elastic – the dough should bounce back when pressed with your finger. Transfer to a clean oiled bowl, cover with a tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place for 2 hours or until doubled in size.
  • Dust a large baking tray with flour. Tip the dough back onto your work surface and knead again to knock out any air bubbles. Add the cranberries and raisins and knead to incorporate into the dough. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces. Roll each lump of dough into a smooth ball. Arrange the balls on your tray in rows of three. Cover with a damp tea towel and leave in a warm place to proof again for a further 1 hour or until doubled in size, the buns should be just touching.
  • Heat oven to 180˚C. Brush the buns with a little beaten egg. Mix the remaining flour with enough water to make a thick paste, then transfer to a piping bag fitted with a small round nozzle. Use the paste to pipe crosses over the buns. Start at one end and pipe a straight line over the buns in rows and then do the vertical lines over all the buns. Bake for 25 minutes until golden and cooked through.
  • Meanwhile, make the spiced honey butter. Put the butter, spices and honey in a bowl and beat with an electric whisk until smooth. Transfer to a bowl. When the buns are cooked, remove from the oven and leave to cool for 10 mins on the baking tray.
  • Serve the buns warm with the spiced butter.
  • The buns will keep for up to 3 days in a tin or freeze for up to 3 months.