Hot Cross Buns
“This is the best recipe for hot cross buns that you will ever find. The texture is light and fluffy and the taste is spicy as a good bun should be. The recipe is part of a collection we received from the estate of Harry B who ran a baking business in Carlton in the 40’s and 50’s.
When you are working with yeast, the time it takes for the dough to rise will vary according the temperature of the room. In warm weather it will take from 90 minutes to 2 hours, but in cooler weather it might take 3 hours.“
1 ½ cups warm full cream milk
2 teaspoons (1 sachet 7g) dried yeast
¼ cup caster sugar
60g butter, melted
600g bread flour
1 ½ teaspoons bread improver (optional but recommended)
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons mixed spice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¾ cup sultanas
½ cup currants
1 tablespoon mixed peel
¼ cup cold water
½ cup plain flour
1 tablespoon caster sugar
1 tablespoon boiling water
Preheat oven to 200C
Place the milk, yeast, and 1 tablespoon of the sugar in a bowl. Stand in a warm place for 5 or 10 minutes until mixture becomes frothy.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, place bread flour, spices, and remaining sugar; add fruit and mix for 30 seconds to combine. Add yeast mixture, egg, and melted butter. Mix for about 2 minutes, add salt, and mix for a further 8 minutes.
Transfer dough to a greased bowl, cover, and allow to stand in a warm place for 2 hours. Dough should double in this time.
Knead dough for a few minutes and roll into balls about the size of a billiard ball. Grease a 23cm x 30cm pan. Arrange so that dough balls are almost touching. Allow to stand in a warm place for 30 – 50 minutes.
Mix the plain flour and water together to make a smooth paste. Place mixture in a piping bag and pipe a cross onto the top of each bun. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 180C and bake for a further 20 minutes or until golden and cooked through.
To glaze buns. Dissolve caster sugar in boiling water and brush tops of buns while they are still hot.