16th May 2021

Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns are traditionally specially baked and eaten on Maundy Thursday or Good Friday. The Hot Cross Buns mark the end of Lent (A period of fasting and abstinence for Christians). The bun is made with flour, spices and dry fruits. It is marked with a cross on the top. The cross on the Hot Cross Buns represent the crucifixion of Jesus and the spices used represent the spices used to embalm him. The top of the bun is glazed to enhance its appearance and taste (Source: Wikipedia).

Yield: 14 to 16 Buns

Prep. Time: 30 Mins. + Proofing

Baking Time: 20 to 25 Mins.

Ingredients:

  • Maida [APF] – 620 gms
  • Butter (soft, at room temp.) – ½ cup
  • Sugar – ⅓ cup
  • Milk – 400 ml
  • Egg – 1
  • Nutmeg (freshly grated) – 1 tsp.
  • Cardamom Powder – 1 tsp.
  • Vanilla Essence – 1 tsp.
  • Tooti Frooti – ½ cup
  • Black Raisins – ¼ cup
  • Instant Yeast – 2 tsp.
  • For the Cross:
    • Maida – ⅓ cup
    • Sugar – 1 ½ tsp.
  • For the Glaze:
    • Cinnamon Stick (broken) – ½ inch
    • Sugar – ¼ cup
    • Lime Juice – 2 drops
  • Oil – 1 tbsp.
  • Salt – 1 tsp.

Step 1:     Chop the raisins and keep aside. Warm the milk in a small vessel and add the ⅓ cup of sugar and stir till it dissolves. Then take the milk in a small bowl and when lukewarm, sprinkle the yeast into it and keep aside for 10 minutes to 15 minutes till it froths.

Step 2:     Meanwhile, take the flour in a bowl and add the salt, cardamom and nutmeg powder and give a mix.

Step 3:     Add the soft butter and rub in / mix with the flour with your fingers till you can see no trace of it.

Step 4:     Now add the raisins, tooti frooti and mix. Transfer to your stand mixer bowl and add the egg and the yeast-milk mixture and start kneading with the dough hook attachment at a low speed (you can knead by hand also). Add 150 ml water or as needed, a little at a time (don’t add the water all at once – use only as much needed to form a soft dough)

Step 5:     Continue kneading the dough for 15 to 20 minutes at a low speed (speed 2) (if kneading by hand, do so in a stretching movement).

Step 6:     After you are done kneading with the stand mixer, transfer the dough to a clean surface and continue kneading by hand for 5 minutes (in a stretching motion) and then roll into a big ball.

Step 7:     Transfer the ball into a large greased vessel or bowl. Apply a little oil to the surface of the ball and cover it with a wet cloth or the vessel with a cling film and let it proof for about 1 ½ to 2 hours till it doubles in size.

Step 8:     Once doubled, punch it to deflate it. Roll into a ball and place it on your clean platform / bench. Flatten the dough a bit and cut / divide it into 14 to 20 balls depending on the size you want – see pics (I made around 17 portions to get medium buns).

Step 9:     Line a baking tray (17 x 12 inch  ) with parchment paper.

Step 10:    Take each ball of dough and tuck the edges in. Then cup your palms and use your thumb and fingers and roll into a smooth ball. Do this for all the portions and place on the tray lined with parchment paper leaving at least ¾ to 1 inch of space between each ball. Allow to proof for a second time, in a warm place, for an hour.

Step 11:     While the dough balls are proofing, make the paste for the cross. Take the ⅓ cup of maida and the 1 ½ tsp. sugar in a bowl. Add 60 to 70 ml of water and whisk till a thick smooth paste is formed and all the sugar has dissolved (the paste should be of a thick consistency – if it is watery add some more flour and whisk). Transfer the paste into a piping bag / small plastic / ziplock bag.

Step 12:     After the buns have proofed for the second time, set your oven to pre-heat at 200° C for 15 minutes.

Step 13:     While the oven is pre-heating, take the piping bag with the flour paste, snip off a small portion of the edge and make the crosses as shown in the picture (pipe straight lines in vertical direction and then horizontal).

Step 14:     Place the baking tray into the oven and reduce the heat to 180° C. Bake the buns for 20 to 25 minutes till golden brown. Then take them out of the oven and transfer them onto a clean cloth and allow to cool.

Step 15:     Take the ingredients for the glaze in a small vessel and place on medium heat. Add ¼ cup water and bring to a boil. Then let it thicken whilst stirring. Then apply this glaze to the top of the buns. That’s it. Phew ! Your buns are pretty and ready.

Notes:

  • Those kneading by hand will have to lightly beat the egg before adding.
  • You can also use honey to glaze the buns or you can eat them plain too.
  • You can also drain and use those rum soaked dry fruits that you use for the Traditional Christmas Cake (click here) also.

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