Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Hot Cross Buns - English Easter Bread Recipe

After the Polish Chalka, I tried making hot cross buns for the first time. They were very good and not too sweet. I used raisins, chopped dates and chopped apricots. The recipe called for a glaze but I made these at my mom's house and I forgot to bring my packet of gelatin so I improvised and made a different type of glaze. I also forgot to bring nuts but you can add them to the recipe if you like.


Here are the buns after baking. The egg glaze helps them get nice and brown.

Here they are with the sugar glaze on them.

Makes 16 buns

Ingredients
Buns
2 packets of active dry yeast (that's 4 1/2 teaspoons from the jar)
pinch of sugar
1/2 cup warm water
4 1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 cup boiled milk, cooled
1/4 cup butter, soft
1 egg
1 1/2 cups chopped dried fruit (raisins, apricots, figs, dates)
Crosses
4 1/2 teaspoons flour
3 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon canola oil
1 egg, beaten (for glazing)
Glaze
1/4 cup icing sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons milk

Directions
In a small bowl, combine yeast with sugar and warm water. Set aside for 10-15 minutes until it gets foamy.

In a larger bowl, sift flour, salt and cinnamon, then stir in sugar. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and add the yeast, milk, butter and eggs. Mix (I used my hands) to form a soft dough. Add a little more water if necessary. Kneed for 5 minutes. Press out into a flat shape and add the dried fruit. Kneed the fruit into the dough until well combined, then place the dough in a bowl and cover with oiled plastic wrap. Set aside to rise for 1 hour or until doubled.

Punch the dough down and divide into 16 equal parts. Roll each part into a ball and set on a lightly oiled baking sheet in rows. Cover again with oiled plastic and allow to rise for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350F. Mix flour, water and oil to form the paste then place into a strong freezer bag and cut off the tip. Pipe crosses on top of the dough. The original recipe didn't call for this, but I beat an egg and brushed the buns with it before baking. Bake for 20 minutes until golden.

Set aside to cool completely. Then mix icing sugar, cinnamon and milk. Add more milk if needed. Brush the glaze over the buns. The glaze should be thinner than toothpaste but not so runny that it just drips off the buns.

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Original recipe from The Australian Women's Weekly.

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