Hot Cross Buns

Serving size: 4
Preparation time: 2 hours 40 minutes
Cooking time: 12 minutes

For the buns:
625g strong white bread flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp ground mixed spice
45g unsalted butter
85g sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
1½ tsp fast action dried yeast
1 large egg
10fl oz tepid milk
4oz dried fruit
4oz chocolate – roughly chopped

For the cross:
2 tbsp plain flour
2 tbsp water
A little extra chocolate (if doing chocolate crosses)

For the glaze:
1 tbsp honey – gently heated

Featured in:
April 2012

Is there anything more satisfying than butter melting on a warmly toasted hot cross bun, as the scent of mixed spice and caramelised candied peel wafts through the kitchen?

To celebrate Easter in style I’ve added some chunks of Duffy’s wonderful Corazon Del Ecuador 83% Dark chocolate to these traditional sticky buns. The subtle citrus flavours within the chocolate work perfectly with the spices and peel that are mixed into the dough. And in keeping with the South American theme I’ve used a wonderful Mexican Orange Blossom Honey as a glaze. Divine!

Mix the flour, salt and mixed spice in a large bowl. Rub the butter in, then add the sugar, lemon zest and yeast.

Beat the egg, add it to the tepid milk (microwave) and then add this to the flour mixture. Bring it all together to form a soft, pliable dough.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly, sprinkling the mixed fruit into the dough in batches. Work for 5 minutes or until smooth and elastic.

Place the dough in a large oiled bowl, cover with a tea towel and put it somewhere warm for one hour to prove.

After an hour, knock back the dough, knead for a minute or two and place back into the bowl and warm for a further 30 minutes.

Once it’s doubled in size, turn it out onto a floured surface and divide into 12. Roll into balls, flatten slightly into a bun shape and place these on a lined baking tray.

Get a large plastic bag and place the buns and tray into the bag. Tie the end so no air can get in and leave them to rise once more for a further 40 minutes.

Pre-heat the oven to 240C. Now make the topping by combining the water and flour until you have a thick paste (if you’re going for chocolate crosses, add the melted chocolate to the paste but don’t pipe on until after the buns are out of the oven).

Once the buns are ready, pour the topping into a piping bag and pipe crosses onto each bun. Bake for 8-12 minutes until dark golden.

The moment they are out of the oven, brush them with the honey which you have heated gently in the microwave.

Eat and of course, enjoy!
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