Has got to be the deliciousness of hot cross buns. I love the smell of warmed bun with butter melting on them. Okay not so good for the waistline but simply mouth watering. My mission this year was to be all domesticated and bake my own. And I must say I was pleasantly surprised with the results. I also dropped some with some friends of our (yes we have made friends!!) to make sure other people thought they were edible too. The result was that they were yum and the recipe was a must so I thought I would put the recipe up here.
HOT CROSS BUNS
(Sourced - The New Zealand Bread Book - Bread by hand or machine)
To Make 16-20 buns:
1/2 cup each of warm milk and water
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 tsp active dried yeast
4 cups (560g) high-grade flour
75g butter, barely melted
1 large egg
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp each mixed spice and cinnamon
1 tsp each ground cloves and vanilla essence
1 cup of mixed fruit, sultanas or currants
nb. I used plain flour as I haven't seen high-grade here in Australia. I also used All spice in place of mixed spice and omitted the ground clove as I didn't have any. I used one cup of currants for my fruit.
Bread Machine Instructions
Carefully measure all ingredients into a 750g capacity, or larger, bread machine in the order specified by the manufacturer. Set to DOUGH cycle and START. (Add the mixed fruit at the beep if your machine offers this option.) When the cycle is complete, shape and bake as below.
Hand-made Bread Instructions
Measure warm milk, water and 1 Tablespoon of the brown sugar into a large bowl, warm or cool the mixture to body temperature, the sprinkle over the yeast. Stir after 2 minutes to ensure yeast has dissolved before adding 2 cups of the flour. Cover and leave in a warm place for 30 minutes.
In another bowl mix together the melted butter, the remaining brown sugar and then beat in the egg, salt, spices, vanilla essence and dried fruit. Add the risen yeast mixture and the remaining flour and mix to make a dough just firm enough to knead, adding a little extra flour if needed. Knead with a dough hook of an electric mixer or by hand on a lightly floured surface for 10 minutes.
Shaping and baking
Divide the dough into four pieces, then again into four or five so you have 16 or 20 pieces. Shape each piece into a round ball and arrange in sprayed or teflon-lined baking pans or a rectangular roasting dish, leaving about 1cm between each bun. Cover and leave in a warm place until doubled in size. (I did 30 minutes.)
2 Tablespoons flour
2 Tablespoons water
1 tsp of sugar
Mix to paste and pipe on top of buns before setting aside to rise.
Bake at 225oC for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Glaze immediately with a syrup made by bringing to the boil 1 tablespoon each of golden syrup, honey and water.
And Tada! Wonderful hot cross buns - best eaten fresh otherwise toast if left to next day.