I suppose I need to start today with an apology. If you have given up sweet things for Lent then look away now and I’m sorry! I have given up something for Lent but it isn’t baking so here is a recipe that is fitting for this time of year.
There are few things more satisfying than being able to make something yourself that is so easily available in the shops and have it taste or look better. These Hot Cross Buns are like that. I find the supermarket variety far too heavy and wet but this recipe makes a lighter bun which is not as sweet but great with butter and a cup of tea. It is almost the same recipe as one I featured here two years ago but I have improved on the cross that decorates them and they are less flat.
The recipe itself is my own and derives from a whole bunch of recipes that I’ve tried and have failed with over time. They contain relatively little sugar and you’ll definitely notice the difference in the taste. If you like SUPER SWEET buns then these may not be for you but they’ll be a lot healthier and for that reason alone you have to give them a go and tell me what you think! I should add that they take a a while to prepare as you have to allow time for rising, hence the early posting of this recipe as you can plan to make them in advance. They also make wonderful breakfast buns.
- 500g strong bread flour
- 60g soft unsalted butter
- 250mls whole organic milk
- 3 organic, free range eggs
- 170g organic sultanas
- 4 tablespoons mixed spice
- 40g caster sugar
- 1 x 7g packet of fast action dried yeast
- Large pinch of salt
- Sieve the flour into a large bowl and rub in the butter with your fingertips, making crumbs of sort. Or mix the ingredients in a mixer using the paddle attachment.
- Add the sachet of yeast, salt and sugar and mix well
- Then, add the sultanas and the mixed spice to the bowl too and mix it all up
- Whisk 2 of the eggs in separate bowl and add them along with the milk to the dry mixture making a dough – At this point you can either add the dough to your mixer and knead using the dough hook, or do it by hand. However you decide to knead, by hand you have to get the dough to the point where it turns in something malleable and stretchy.
- Once kneaded place in a large bowl and cover the bowl with a wet tea-towel. Place in a warm spot for between 2 & 4 hours. Leaving it for a long time creates a dough that is light and fluffy so that the time spent doing this is good time.
- When the dough has risen, break pieces off and create bun sized balls, placing them on a baking tray with a few centimeters between them all.
- If you’re making plain old breakfast buns all you have to do is give them a quick egg wash with the last egg and bake in the oven at 200c/400f until they are golden brown.
- If you are adding a cross to them mix the juice of half a lemon with enough sieved royal icing to form soft peaks. Then pipe a cross shape on to the buns when they are cool.
- Serve with butter, lashing and lashings of butter.
They hit the spot with an afternoon cuppa!
Have a wonderful day. I’m in London today for some excitement.
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