For some reason I have never been very successful at making hot-cross buns. I don't know why, but it just hasn't worked out. But today on Easter Sunday, I tried this new recipe from Alison Holst and the buns are delicious!
The baste is very good, but it is sticky, so if you don't want sticky fingers, leave it out.
Hot Cross Buns
3/ cup milk
1/2 cup boiling water
4 tsp Yeast
75gms soft butter
1/4 cup honey
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 1/2 cups flour
1 TBSP each of mixed spice, cinnamon and cocoa powder
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup mixed fruit
Cross Paste1/2 cup flour
2 TBSP Oil
Glaze1 TBSP Golden Syrup
1 TBSP Honey
1 TBSP Water
Bring to the boil.
Measure the milk and boiling water into a large bowl, then add the yeast and leave to stand for about 5 minutes.
Measure in the softened butter, honey, salt, two cups of flour, the spices, cocoa powder and brown sugar. Mix thoroughly then leave for 15 minutes or longer in a warm place.
Add the remaining flour and stir to make a soft dough, adding a little extra warm milk or flour if necessary.
Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface and knead for 5-10 minutes or until the dough is smooth and satiny and springs back when gently pressed.
*At this point I put it into my bread machine on the knead setting only for 10-15 minutes. Add the fruit when you put it into the bread machine before starting the kneading.
Turn the kneaded dough in 1-2 teaspoons of oil, then place into a clean bowl. Cover with clingwrap and leave to rise in a warm, draught-free place for 30-40 minutes.
When the dough is ready, divide it evenly into four pieces. "Divide each of these into four or five pieces. Shape each piece into a round ball, then arrange the balls in a non-stick sprayed or baking paper-lined tray. Leave about 1-2 cm between each bun. Cover with clingwrap and leave in a warm place to rise again until doubled in size (usually 30-60 minutes).
Make the paste for the crosses until it is smooth enough to pipe out of a piping bag.
Bake at 200 degC for 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned and hollow-sounding when tapped lightly.
Remove from the oven and brush on the glaze immediately.