Baking, Edible gifts, Something fruity, Something sweet

Hot cross buns

So Easter is just round the corner, time to make hot cross buns. As with most things there’s a pleasure in making them yourself, but living in Northern Thailand it’s also the only option available! This recipe is based on one by Rachel Allen from her book Bake with a few adaptations. I used uncrystalized (naked) ginger instead of candied peel, which I don’t like, I also soaked my dried fruit in tea too and glazed my buns with honey. This will make 20 buns.

So what do you need?

  • 150g dried fruit (half currants and sultanas)
  • 1/2 cup of strong black tea
  • 50g uncrystalized (naked) ginger
  • 500g strong plain flour
  • 220ml milk
  • 5 tsp  / 2 sachets of fast acting yeast
  • 2 free-range eggs beaten
  • 100g unsalted butter (cubed)
  • pinch salt
  • 100g soft brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 – 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • seeds from 10 cardamom pods
  • 4 tbsp. milk
  • 4 tbsp honey

So what do you do?

Start by soaking the dried fruit in the tea for an hour or two this will make the fruit extra juicy. I used a breadmaker to make my dough, you can do it by hand if you prefer. I warmed the milk and put it in my breadmaker along with the butter, sugar, eggs, salt, 450g of the flour and the dried spices (freshly ground) and the dried yeast and put it on the dough setting. After about 20 mins my breadmaker bleeps and I added the dried fruit (drained of any excess tea) and the naked ginger. If the dough seems too sticky at this point add a little more flour. Once the dough was done I knocked it back on a floured work surface  then formed it into 20 buns and put them on baking trays lined with parchment paper. I left them for 45 mins to rise to about double size. Meanwhile I pre-heated my oven to 220 degrees C / 425 F and made a paste for the crosses from 50g flour and a couple of tbsp. water mix it together to make a dough, like pizza dough.

Once the buns had risen I rolled out the plain dough thinly and cut it into strips to make the crosses with. I then ‘painted’ the top and sides of the buns with milk and placed the crosses on and ‘painted’ them with milk. I put the buns in the oven and after 5 mins turned the temperature down to 200 degrees C / 400 F and cooked them for another 10 minutes or so until golden brown. While they were still hot I glazed them with warm honey using a pastry brush, if you want them extra shiny and sticky give them a second coat. Enjoy warm or toasted with butter.

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