Fancy a little Easter baking? This is what we are making.
Patient advocate and baking enthusaist, Stacy Nitschke has shared with us her hot cross bun recipe inspired by Maggie Beer. The act of making something from scratch and the nostalgic aroma is something we can still enjoy from inside our homes.
Hot Cross Buns
4 cups(500g) plain flour
2 x 7g dried yeast sachets
1/4 cup(55g) caster sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp allspice
1 1/2 cup currants or sultanas
½ cup finely chopped dried apricots
1 orange, juiced and zested
2 eggs lightly beaten
½ cup of flour
4 tbspn water
1/4 cup water
60g Apricot Jam
Combine 4 cups of flour, mixed spice and salt in a large bowl.
Soak the fruit in the juice of 1 orange and a splash of water, let it sit while you make the dough.
Melt butter in a small saucepan over a medium heat and add the milk. Heat for 1 minute, or until lukewarm (no hotter than 43 degrees or you will kill the yeast), take off the heat and add the yeast and sugar. Cover loosely with a clean tea towel and let it sit for 5 minutes, the yeast should dissolve and become frothy. If it does not, your yeast is not active and will not allow the buns to rise. This can happen if the milk is too hot or the yeast is out of date.
Add warm milk mixture and eggs together and mix before adding to the dry ingredients.
Use a flat bladed knife to mix the dough until it almost comes together, then using clean hands, finish mixing to a soft dough.
Strain the fruit, add it along with the orange zest to the dough and combine.
Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes(or 5 minutes in a stand mixer on low/med speed with a dough hook), or until dough is smooth and springs back when you poke it.
Place into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm, draught free place for 1 – 1 1⁄2 hours, or until dough doubles in size. If my kitchen is a little chilly I like to heat my oven to 120 degrees for a few minutes and then turn the oven off and place the dough in the oven with the door slightly ajar to help the dough to rise.
Line a large baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Punch dough down to its original size. Knead for 30 seconds on a lightly floured surface until smooth. Separate the dough into 12 even portions and shape each portion into a ball by pinching in the corners so one side is nice a nice smooth round shape.
Place balls onto the lined tray pinched side down, about 1cm apart. Cover with oiled cling film and set aside in a warm, draught free place for 30 minutes, or until buns double in size.
Preheat fan-forced oven to 170C.
To make the flour paste, mix 1⁄2 cup plain flour and 4 tablespoons of water together in a small bowl until smooth. Spoon into a small snap-lock bag and snip off one corner to create piping bag. Pipe the crosses over the buns
Place into preheated oven and bake for 20 - 25 minutes, or until buns are cooked through. If the buns start to become too brown cover with aluminium foil at the 15 minute mark.
To make the glaze, combine water and jam into a small saucepan over low heat and stir until jam dissolves. Let it simmer for 3-4 minutes, then remove from heat. Immediately brush glaze over warm hot cross buns.
Serve warm, toasted or at room temperature with lashings of butter. Yum!
Tip: These freeze really well, I like to cut mine in half before popping them into an air tight container in the freezer.
Click here for Maggie Beer's original recipe and her tips and tricks.