Hot Cross Buns
I didn't actually grow up eating hot cross buns, but I've hard a lot about it and always admired the cute little shiny buns with crosses on top. It wasn't until I was in my teens that I tried it and when I did, I was blown way! Think cinnamon raisin bagel crossed with a brioche-like texture.
I love that it's something people have been making and eating for hundreds of years and it even comes with its own little song. I'm sharing this recipe with you today because I think we all need some feeling of familiarity these days. It's a very simple recipe, kicked up a notch with the addition of some orange blossom and cardamom in the dough.
Hot Cross Buns
For the dough
3/4 cup of Whole Milk
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp Active Dry Yeast
3 1/2 cup AP Flour
1/3 cup Dark Brown Sugar
5 tbsp softened Butter
1 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Orange Blossom water
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Cloves
1/2 tsp Cardamom
1 tsp Vanilla extract
1 cup Raisins
For the Cross:
1/2 cup AP Flour
8 tbsp Water
For the Glaze:
2 tbsp Orange or Apricot Jam
1. Bloom your yeast by combining 1 tsp of sugar and warm milk in a bowl. Sprinkle the yeast right on top. Leave for 5-10 minutes until frothy. In the meantime, soak raisins in warm water to make them plump.
2. In a separate bowl, add your flour, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom. Mix well.
3. Once the yeast has bloomed, add the brown sugar, eggs, butter, orange blossom water, and vanilla extract. Mix well and then add the dry ingredients. Drain the water from the raisins and add them to the mixture also. Continue mixing until a dough forms.
4. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 2 minutes. The surface of your dough should be smooth and the raisins should not be falling out. Transfer dough to a well oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Place your bowl somewhere warm and let it proof for 1-2 hours or until doubled in size.
5. Once your dough has doubled, you are now ready to divide into portions and shape them into buns. Divide your dough into 18 portions.
6. Lightly oil 2 cake pans or 1 9x13 rectangular pan and set aside.
7. Shape each dough portion by folding all four corners towards the centre, flip it so that the seam is underneath and then roll until a tight ball forms. Place 9 portions in each prepared pan (if using cake pans). Cover with a tea towel and let it rest for at least an hour. In the meantime, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Farenheit. Eggwash each bun to create a nice shine after baking.
8. Create your flour cross by whisking 1/2 cup of AP flour with 8 tbsp of water. Mix well until a loose paste forms. Spoon paste to a piping bag.
9. Once your buns have finished proofing, its time to pipe the flour crosses on top. Snip the tip of the bag and pipe crosses on top of each bun.
10. Bake for 20-25 minutes. While waiting, create your glaze by mixing orange or apricot jam with 2 tbsp water.
11. You'll be able to tell when the buns are done when they spring back after being poked lightly with your finger. Once done, take buns out of the oven and brush with glaze immediately. Let it cool at least 20 minutes before eating.