Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns

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by Darina Allen owner of Ballymaloe Cookery School

of Shanagarry, Co. Cork

Nowadays Hot Cross Buns are traditionally eaten in Ireland on Ash Wednesday and on Good Friday. This practice would have been frowned on in the past w Read More
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Prep Time

10 Minutes

Cooking Time

15 Minutes

Serves

A Party

Ingredients

  • 25g (1oz) fresh yeast
  • 75-110g (3-4oz) castor sugar
  • 450g (1lb) bakers flour
  • 75g (3oz) butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2-3 teaspoons mixed spice, depending how fresh it is
  • 1 level teaspoon of salt
  • 2 organic eggs
  • 225-300ml (8-10 fl oz) tepid milk
  • 75g (3oz) currants
  • 50g (2oz) sultanas
  • 25g (1oz) candied peel, chopped (see recipe)
  • egg wash made with milk,
  • sugar,
  • 1 organic egg yolk, whisked together

Liquid Cross:

  • 50g (2oz) white flour
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 4-5 tablespoons cold water

Method

Dissolve the yeast with 1 tablespoon of the sugar in a little tepid milk.

Put the flour into a bowl, rub in the butter, add the cinnamon, nutmeg, mixed spice, a pinch of salt and the remainder of the sugar. Mix well.

Whisk the eggs and add to the milk.

Make a well in the centre of the flour, add the yeast and most of the liquid and mix to a soft dough, adding a little more milk if necessary.

Cover and leave to rest for 2 or 3 minutes then knead by hand or in a food processor until smooth.

Add the currants, sultanas and mixed peel and continue to knead until the dough is shiny.

Cover the bowl and let the dough rise in a warm place until it doubles in size.

“Knock back”, by kneading for 3 or 4 minutes, rest for a few minutes.

Divide the mixture into 14 balls, each weighing about 50g (2oz). Knead each slightly and shape into buns. Place on a lightly floured tray.

Egg wash and leave to rise.

If using shortcrust, arrange a cross of pastry on each one.

Leave to rise until double in size.

Then egg wash a second time carefully. We tend to decorate with what we call a “liquid cross”. To make this, mix the flour, melted butter and water together to form a thick liquid.

Fill into a paper piping bag and pipe a liquid cross on top of each bun. Preheat the oven to 220ºC/425ºF/gas mark 6.

Bake in the preheated oven for 5 minutes then reduce the heat to 200ºC/400ºF/gas mark 6 for a further 10 minutes or until golden.

Leave to cool on a wire rack.

Split in two and serve with butter.

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