Monday, 12 March 2018

Hot Cross Buns one a penny, two a penny ...


Every year in the weeks before Easter, Grandma would make Hot Cross Buns. She would leave the dough to rise on the hearth of the kitchen range. I use a sunny windowsill, airing cupboard or a warm place near a radiator. I’ve updated Grandma’s traditional recipe using fast action yeast – which makes it very easy! 
Hot Cross Buns
What you need...
250ml/½ pint milk
50g/2 oz butter cut into pieces
7g sachet fast action yeast 
450g/1 lb strong plain flour
1 tsp mixed spice
35g/1½ oz sugar
1 egg lightly beaten
50g/2 oz currants
50g/2oz mixed peel
Vegetable oil
Shortcrust Pastry for decoration    
How to bake...
Heat the milk until nearly boiling, add the butter and leave to cool to hand temperature. Stir the yeast into the cooled milk mixture.  Mix the flour, mixed spice and sugar. Make a well in the centre and add the yeast mixture and egg. Mix to a soft dough.  You can do this in a food mixer with a dough hook. Place in an oiled bowl and cover with oiled cling film. Leave to prove in a warm place until doubled in size. Add the currants and mixed peel. Knead on a floured board or worktop for 10 minutes or so until smooth. 
Cover with oiled cling film. Leave to prove again in a warm place until doubled in size. Turn out and knead for 2-3 minutes. Cut the dough into 10-12 pieces and shape into buns. Place on a greased baking tray, cover with oiled cling film and put in a warm place until doubled in size.  Make a small amount of shortcrust pastry, roll out and cut into thin strips. Brush with milk and place across each bun to make a cross. Bake in a hot oven (425F, Mark 7, 210C) for 15 minutes. Brush with a glaze made from milk and sugar and allow to cool. 
Bake and eat them on Good Friday before the chocolate egg rush on Easter Sunday and sing the old nursery rhyme. 'Hot cross buns! Hot cross buns! One a penny, two a penny, Hot cross buns!' Will you try them?

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