Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Hot Cross Buns

For the dough:
150ml milk
50g butter
zest of 1 orange
1 clove
2 cardamom pods
400g bread flour (has to be strong bread flour, not regular)
1 packet easy blend yeast (7g)
125g mixed dried fruit
1tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 egg

For the egg wash:
1 egg, beaten with a little milk

For the crosses on the buns:
3tbsp plain flour
1/2 tbsp sugar
2tbsp water

For the sugar glaze
1 tbsp sugar
1tbsp boiling water

Heat the milk, butter, orange zest, clove and cardamom till the butter melts, then remove from heat and leave to infuse.
Measure the flour, yeast, and dried fruit into a bowl, and add the spices. When the infused milk cools to blood temperature, take out the cardamom pods, and beat in the egg and pour into the bowl of dry ingredients.
Knead till you have a silky elastic dough, form into a ball and place in a buttered bowl covered with cling film. Leave to prove overnight in the fridge (or for an hour to an hour and a half in a warm place).
Preheat to 220c. Take the dough out of the fridge and bring back to room temp. Punch down and knead till elastic again, then break the dough into 16 pieces. Sit them on a baking sheet lined with baking paper, snug together but not touching. Using the back of a knife, score the tops of the buns with a cross, and leave to prove for about 45 minutes.
Brush the buns with egg wash, then using a teaspoon dribble the flour, sugar, water mix into two lines in the indents of the cross. Bake for 15-20 minutes. When they come out of the oven, mix the sugar and boiling water and brush it onto each bun to make them shiny and sweet.

These were also in theNigella Lawson book “Feast”. They seemed so complicated at first, but they are not any more difficult then any other bread. And they are really festive and yummy.

To be honest, I’m not sure how I feel about hot cross buns. I seem to like them in theory more then in practice, but I keep trying them periodically, and these are probably my favorite so far. They got rave reviews even though I forgot to add the egg to the dough…oops.

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