Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Recipe: Hot Cross Buns (Delia Smith)

Every year when Good Friday / Easter approaches, I would think of hot cross buns. And every year I would tell myself... "I'm going to make hot cross buns this year", but never got around to it. After much procrastination, I finally did it this year and it turned out way way easier than I expected... so I guess baking hot cross buns is going to be a new annual ritual for me!

Hot cross bun is a spiced sweet bun made with currants or raisins and marked with a cross over the top. It is traditionally eaten on Good Friday.

For my first attempt, I tried none other than my no.1 cooking idol, Delia Smith's recipe. I loved how this recipe turned out - the buns were really good, soft and fragrant. The only thing I need to work on are the crosses - I followed her methods of mixing the flour and water then laying them in crosses, but they turn out really hard after baking (maybe hers are supposed be just decor and not for eating). However, I do like how distinctive and beautiful they make the buns look ;)

The whole family, especially the kids really enjoyed it. Everyone should try making their own hot cross buns (since good (affordable) ones are not easy to come by in Malaysia) - easy to make and absolutely scrumptious! 

Sweet and sticky tops

Hot Cross Buns
Hot Cross Buns
One a penny, Two a penny
Hot Cross Buns.

Great with some butter

Hot Cross Buns
Recipe by Baby Sumo, adapted from Delia Smith's Complete Cookery Course
Preparation time: 15-20 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Makes 12-15

50g plus 1 tsp caster sugar
150ml hand-hot water
1 tbsp dried yeast
450g plain flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground mixed spice
125g raisins or sultanas
40-55ml warmed milk
1 egg, beaten
50g butter, melted

For the crosses
110g plain flour
4-5 tbsp cold water

For the glaze
2 tbsp caster sugar
2 tbsp water

1. Place water in a measuring jug, then stir in 1 teaspoon of caster sugar. Then, sprinkle in the dried yeast and leave it for 10-15 minutes, until a nice frothy "beer" head forms.

2. Sift the flour, salt and mixed spice into a mixing bowl. Add the remaining 50g sugar and raisins to the bowl and mix well.

3. Make a well in the centre, then pour in the yeast mixture plus 40ml warm milk, beaten egg and melted butter. Using a wooden spoon, mix it to a dough, adding more milk if required to bring it all together.

4. Transfer the dough onto a clean surface and knead for about 6 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Alternatively, you can also knead using KitchenAid (or other mixers using the dough hook) on Speed 2 for 5-6 minutes, or until smooth and elastic.

5. Pop back into bowl (if kneading by hand) and cover the bowl with a lightly oiled film and leave it at a warm place to rise to double its original size, about 1 hour.

6. Turn it out and knead it again, for about a minute back to its original size. Divide the mixture to 12-15 round portions, then arrange them onto a baking sheet lined with non-stick baking paper (allowing plenty room for expansion) and leave them at a warm place once again to rise, for about 25-30 minutes.

7. Preheat oven to 220°C /200°C fan.

8. For the crosses, you can either make a deep cross on each bun with a sharp knife or for more distinctive crosses, make a flour and water paste from 110g flour and 4 tbsp water. Mix and roll out thinly, place on buns to make a cross and dampen to seal.

9. Once the buns have risen, place in preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes. While they're cooking, melt the sugar and water for glaze over a gentle heat, then brush the buns with it as soon as they come out of the oven, to make them nice and sticky.

10. Cool for 30 minutes before serving.

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  1. Yen, your Hot Cross Buns turned out very well!

  2. 看到这个面包,让我想起了 Good Friday 。。 嘻嘻 ~

  3. that's a beautiful batch that you've baked! :D

  4. Ohmygosh! Hot cross buns like the song <3

  5. Your HCB are perfect Yen! You managed to do such a great job I can't believe that it is your first time! :o

  6. Lovely hot cross buns! The perfect treat for tea time!

  7. Lovely crosses on the buns!

  8. I can totally relate to your opening paragraph as I have hoped to make hot cross buns for the past couple of years but not got around to it yet. You have inspired me - so maybe this year will be the year we bake some too! x

  9. Hi Yen,

    I had a look at the DS recipe that you use and the cross component look ok leh... I can't figure out why is the cross too hard too. Nevertheless, the texture of buns look very lovely :D



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