Thursday, April 28, 2011

Hot Cross Buns

We've never made so many Easter breads like this year. Firstly we made Kulich to take along with us in the countryside as a present for Ivan's parents, then I helped mum with the baking of 5 loaves of Kozunak. Plus I'm on a gluten free diet (I hope it will last for just a couple of months) and have tried nothing of the above, unless you count the wonderful aroma that was in the air. So we had a good reason to skip this month's Fresh from the Oven Challenge. But then some of the FFO members rebelled and posted early. Dom, Claire and Sally, you naughty guys! Ivan saw their posts and the next moment his hands were already buried into the slightly sweet dough for hot cross buns. Many thanks to Sarah from Simply Cooked for hosting this challenge.

As a base we used Sally's recipe but adapted it a little for the needs of a single eater who loves buns packed with a double doze of dry fruits. Ivan made the buns and it was up to me to make the cross and I slopped it ugly with a spoon. I made the cross dough too liquid and it spread more than intended but it still looks like a cross, so it's not a great problem. I left one of the buns without the white cross and even liked it more like that. (it could be seen into the background of the above photo)

Hot Cross Buns Recipe:
Adapted from My Custard Pie
  • 270 gr all purpose flour (+ more for the working surface);
  • 60 gr whole milk (lukewarm);
  • 50 gr water (lukewarm);
  • 7 gr fresh yeast (or 2,5 gr fast action dried yeast);
  • 4 gr salt;
  • 30 gr sugar;
  • 1 egg;
  • 30 gr butter (melted and cooled);
  • 50 gr dry fruits (we used 100 gr – 20gr currants, 20gr sour cherries in rum; 30gr dry apricots, 30 gr candied orange and lemon peels);
  • ½ tsp grated lemon zest;
  • pinch of grated nutmeg;
  • 2 pinches of cinnamon;
  • ½ tsp ground cardamom;
  • 2 pinches ground dry ginger;
  • pinch of ground cloves.
For the Cross:
  • 25 gr all purpose flour;
  • ½ Tbsp sunflower oil;
  • 1-2 Tbsp water(or enough to make the dough into piping consistency).
To finish:
  • 1 egg yolk;
  • 1 tablespoon milk.
To Glaze:
  • 100 gr granulated sugar;
  • 50 gr orange juice.
The dough could be kneaded by hand but since it's sticky it's easier to use hand or stand mixer equipped with dough hook.
In a large bowl sift together flour, sugar, salt, lemon zest and all the spices. Make a well in the center and set aside.
In another bowl combine water, milk and yeast and leave for 5 minutes. Then add melted butter. Whisk in the egg.
Pour the liquid ingredients into the well of the dry ingredients and mix with electric mixer(equipped with dough hook) to form a sticky dough. Add dry fruits. Knead on low speed for 10-15 minutes. Cover the dough and leave to rise for about an hour, or until doubled in size.
Transfer the dough to a floured counter top and divide it into 6 equal pieces. Shape into rounds and dust with flour. Place on a lined with paper baking pan and leave to prove, covered with a linen tea towel for about 30 minutes, or until doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 200°C and make the paste for the crosses by beating the water and oil into the flour until smooth. Transfer the paste into a piping bag with a small nozzle.
Beat the egg and milk together.
Make a cross with a sharp knife across the top of the buns. Brush with the egg wash and then pipe crosses onto the indentation. (This could be done with a spoon but one has to be more skillful than I am). Bake for around 15 - 20 minutes.
Transfer to a wire rack. In a small sauce pan bring sugar and orange juice to a boil. Brush the glaze over the buns.


  1. The mixture of dried fruit you chose sounds delicious. Thanks for taking part in the challenge! Beautiful pictures.

    I hope you can leave your gluten-free diet soon. Best wishes.

  2. Mmm your buns look so delicious!
    Thanks for visiting! :)

  3. Sorry I joined the naughty gang! I love the idea of more dried fruit and your buns look so pretty. Did you really not eat any of them?!

  4. Unfortunately not :( Ivan ate them all.

  5. I baked these buns. They are delicious.

  6. Chantel, thank you very much for the feedback, I'm glad you liked them!



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