I know, I know. I'm late.
Yes, I know that it's Monday night, and that Easter is over.
I also know that hot cross buns are meant to be made and eaten on Good Friday (3 days ago), but who's to say that precedent should prevent us from mange-ing upon fluffy buns just because it's Monday...?
(I'm throwing caution to the wind on a daily basis. For example: It's 9:45 PM and I'm drinking a teapot full of strong black tea. I know right?! I'm a downright mischievous hooligan.)
Screw it. I'm sharing this recipe with you whether you like it or not. Mondays are already pooey* enough.
*pardon my French
Without further ado, I bestow onto you, the nommiest little parcels of heaven.
Whether you're celebrating the resurrection of Christ or just hopping along for the chocolate bunnies - or not doing either because Easter is over - these aromatic pillows of fluff are guaranteed to bring tears of joy to even the grizzliest of people.
As I'd never made hot cross buns before this, I went straight to a Jamie Oliver recipe for inspiration. (There is no one I trust more for reliable recipes. Our Easter table this year comprised of Jamie's recipes for Leg of Lamb with mint sauce, Sticky Toffee Pudding, and Yorkshire Puds.)
I followed the main measurements of Jamie's recipe but pimped up the flavors to make these buns feel a bit more special by infusing them with some special Mariage Frères "Cannelé" tea that I had in the cupboard - Earl Grey would be a fine subsitute - and by adding some orange zest to help break the richness of the dough.
I really hope you give this recipe a go.
They are so easy to make.
I admit that they can be a bit daunting on your first go, but stick to it. I'm sure that soon enough these buns will be flying out of your oven.
Hot Cross Buns
*makes 12 buns* 300 ml semi-skimmed milk 1.5 tbs loose-leaf black tea; Earl Grey works wonderfully 55 g butter 14 g dried yeast 1 large egg, whisked 455 g bread flour 55 g caster sugar ¼ tsp salt 1 tsp cinnamon ½ tsp allspice ¼ nutmeg, grated 6 pieces of candied ginger, finely diced 90 g raisins 1 orange, for zesting 2 tbs plain flour runny honey for glazing
Heat the milk with the tea over a medium heat for five to ten minutes, then cover and let steep for another 20 minutes.
Melt the butter in a saucepan.
When the milk has cooled down a bit and is lukewarm, strain out the tea leaves, sprinkle the yeast over the milk, and stir. Set aside.
Combine the flour, sugar, salt, spices, and candied ginger in a large mixing bowl.
Add the melted butter and the egg to the dry ingredients.
Slowly add in the milk mixture, starting off with 200 ml and adding more until the mixture comes together. It should be slightly tacky but not wet and sticky.
Knead the mixture on a lightly floured surface for about 10 minutes, or until the dough is elastic and supple.
Place the dough in a clean bowl and cover with a slightly damp tea towel. Let rise in a warm, draft-free place until it has doubled in size: about an hour.
Punch down the dough and “pour” it out onto a clean surface. Stretch the dough out with your hands and zest the orange directly over the dough to catch all of the essential oils.
Knead to mix, and then add the raisins and continue folding the dough until the raisins are spread evenly throughout the dough.
Divide the dough into 12 even portions. Shape the buns by tucking the dough back under itself until you have a smooth top and round shape.
Place the balls of dough on a baking tray, allowing for rising space between each bun.
Cover with a damp tea towel and place the tray back in a warm place to rise again for half an hour, or until the buns have doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 190C(375F)
Mix the two tablespoons of plain flour with two tablespoons of water for the crosses. Pipe the crosses carefully over the buns with a piping bag, or drizzle over with a spoon.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
Brush the tops of the buns with honey as soon as you remove them from the oven.
Hot cross buns don’t keep well, so eat and share them on the day they’re baked or freeze them.
Instagram [#ballerinachef] and enjoy!
I guess we won't be piping crosses on our buns anymore as it's no longer Easter, but why not pipe some cat-inspired artwork or maybe a portrait of your sleeping roommate...? The possibilities are endless.
I'm looking forward to seeing what you create.
© 2015 The Ballerina Chef