Sunday, 24 March 2013

Hot Cross Buns

I am a very festive person. Especially when it comes to food. 

If you remember at Christmas time, I dazzled you all with Fruit Mince Pies, Sherry Balls, my Christmas Cassata and how could I forget my Gingerbread House. I also am fond of making a birthday cake or two as I believe it is not a birthday without one. 

So naturally, with easter coming up since week it was only fitting I get into the holiday spirit with these hot cross buns. 

This is another one of my Mum's recipes and it wouldn't be easter unless I didn't keep up the tradition. When I was growing up, Mum would always be up bright early making these buns in time for either breakfast, for those other early risers, or morning tea. 

As I was usually up with her, I would sit on the bench, watch and wait until it was time to glaze the steaming hot buns with the sugar syrup as it was always my job to do so. I absolutely LOVE, LOVE, LOVE these buns!! Spicy, soft, fluffy and the lingering smell of baking bread through the house. And let me tell you, there is absolutely nothing better than a freshly baked bun, with lashings of butter slowly melting over the top.... except maybe when served with a cup of tea as well. 

5 cups Plain Flour
5 1/2 teaspoons rapid rise dry Yeast
1/3 cup Sugar
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
2 teaspoons Mixed Spice
1 cup warm Milk
3/4 cup warm Water
90g Butter, melted
1 cup Currants
1/2 cup Self-raising Flour
2 teaspoon Castor Sugar
1/3 cup Water
Sugar Glaze
1/4 cup Water
1/4 cup White Sugar

To make the buns...
Pre heat the oven to 190-200°C.

Combine yeast, 2 cups of flour, sugar and spices in a large bowl. Add milk, water and butter and stir well for 3 minutes. Add the currants and most of the rest of the flour and mix until a soft dough forms. (You may not need the entire 5 cups of flour). 

Knead on a floured surface for 5 minutes or until dough is smooth. 

Divided and roll into 16 balls. Place in 2 round 20cm cake tins that have been greased with butter. Allow to rise in a warm area until they have almost tripled in size. Once risen, pipe crosses over the top and bake for 20 minutes. 

Turn out onto a wire rack and glaze with sugar syrup while still warm. 

To make the crosses...
Simply mix all ingredients together. 

To make the Sugar Syrup...
Place water and sugar into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove once all the sugar has dissolved. 

This is what the dough may look like BEFORE kneading...

...5 minutes later you should get a nice round, smooth ball of dough. 

Here are the buns before they have risen...

...and after. They should take up most, if not all, of the cake tin.

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