I know making your own hot crossed buns is a bit of ball ache but I have no balls and I can’t stand candied peel. Most shop bought buns are riddled with the horrible little blighters, tiny white bitter tasting pieces of hell. I’ve tried picking them out but they’re so hard to spot and so incorparated into the dough, that by the time I’m finished I’m left with a plate of crumbs.
Now, if you’re a baking novice I probably wouldn’t bother making these, in fact, I probably wouldn’t bother unless you have a hatred for one of the classic ingredients like myself, although my buns are damn tasty. I do still like to give a nod to the candied peel though by adding the zest of a lemon but I couldn’t yesterday because my lemon rolled out the window and onto Camden Road. So let’s pretend I used a lemon yeah? Happy Easter!
Hot Crossed Buns
Makes 16 buns / Takes 2 hours 45 minutes
You’ll need: Baking paper and large high sided baking tray
680g strong white bread four
100g golden caster sugar
80g soft butter
10g mixed spice
175ml tepid water
175ml semi skimmed milk
1 large egg
Zest of 1 lemon
100g strong white bread flour
Pinch of salt
Tsp of butter
2 tbs boiling water
2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp mixed spice
1. In a large bowl mix together the flour and yeast with a wooden spoon. Once combined add the rest of the ingredients apart from the sultanas and lemon zest. You do this to avoid the salt and yeast coming into direct contact, salt can kill yeast (or so I’ve heard).
2. Turn the dough out onto a surface and knead by hand for 15 minutes. Or you can be lazy like me and use a mixer with a dough hook on a medium speed for 10 minutes.
3. Incorporate in the sultanas and lemon zest and place back in the bowl and cover with a tea towel. Leave in a warm place for half an hour.
4. Line a large high sided baking tray with baking parchment. I rub the sides and the bottom of my tray with butter so the paper sticks.
5. Turn out the dough and cut it in half and then in half again, and again. Keep dividing until you have 16 buns. Make each bun is lovely and round and pop them on your tray a finger space apart. My tray was a little small so could only fit 12 so I used an extra small baking tray for the final 4.
6. Cover with a tea towel again and leave in a warm place for 30/40minutes. Preheat your oven to 210ºC (fan 190ºC).
7. In a separate bowl mix the crossing mixture together. If you have a piping bag scoop the mixture into it but if you don’t, make one out of baking paper like I did. Simply make a cone and cut a hole at the pointy end. Fill with the crossing mixture and pipe it across the top of the buns.
8. Bake your buns (lol) for 25-30 minutes or until the tops of them are golden brown. Make your wash 5 minutes before you take them out of the oven. Remove your buns and brush them immediately with the wash. Turn out onto a cooling rack and devour warm with lashings of butter.
(I don’t expect anyone to eat all 16 buns in one go so I freeze mine. Cut all the buns you want to freeze in half to save you trying to slice into a frozen bun later. Pop the tops back on and wrap each bun in cling foil and then foil. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months. From the freezer you can pop them straight in the toaster, so that’s breakfast sorted.)
If you’ve had a go at making my Hot Crossed Buns or any of my other recipes I’d love to hear about it. @corrieheale firstname.lastname@example.org