Food and Drinks

Baking Bliss: A Delectable Hot Cross Bun Recipe to Savor

Hot cross buns, with their sweet and spiced aroma, have been a cherished treat for centuries. Traditionally enjoyed on Good Friday, these delightful buns are not only a delicious indulgence but also carry a rich cultural and religious significance. Making hot cross buns from scratch is a rewarding endeavor that fills your kitchen with the enticing scent of cinnamon and nutmeg. In this article, we will explore a step-by-step hot cross bun recipe that guarantees a batch of soft, fluffy, and perfectly spiced buns.

Ingredients:

To embark on this baking adventure, gather the following ingredients:

For the buns:

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/4 cups warm milk
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 large egg

For the cross:

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup water

For the glaze:

  • 1/4 cup apricot jam or marmalade

Instructions:

  1. Activate the yeast: Start by activating the yeast. In a small bowl, combine warm milk and a teaspoon of sugar. Sprinkle the yeast over the mixture, stir gently, and let it sit for about 5-10 minutes until it becomes frothy.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Make a well in the center and pour in the activated yeast mixture, melted butter, and beaten egg.
  3. Knead the dough: Mix the ingredients until they form a rough dough. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes until it becomes smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover it with a clean cloth, and let it rise in a warm place for about 1-2 hours or until it doubles in size.
  4. Shape the buns: Once the dough has risen, punch it down to release the air. Turn it out onto a floured surface and divide it into 12 equal portions. Shape each portion into a round bun and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet, leaving a small gap between each bun.
  5. Make the cross: For the cross, mix flour and water to form a thick paste. Transfer the paste to a piping bag or a zip-top bag with a small corner snipped off. Pipe a cross over the top of each bun.
  6. Second rise: Cover the buns with a clean cloth and let them rise for another 30-45 minutes. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) during this time.
  7. Bake the buns: Once the buns have doubled in size, bake them in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until they turn golden brown. Keep an eye on them to avoid over-baking.
  8. Glaze the buns: While the buns are baking, warm the apricot jam or marmalade in a small saucepan over low heat. Strain the mixture to remove any fruit pieces. Brush the warm glaze over the baked buns as soon as they come out of the oven.
  9. Cool and Enjoy: Allow the hot cross buns to cool on a wire rack for a few minutes before indulging in their heavenly aroma and soft texture. These buns are best enjoyed fresh, but they can also be toasted and slathered with butter the next day.

Conclusion:

Baking hot cross buns from scratch is not just a culinary task; it’s a journey that connects us to traditions and flavors that have withstood the test of time. The warmth of cinnamon, the hint of nutmeg, and the softness of the buns create a sensory experience that is both comforting and delightful. Whether you share these buns with family and friends or savor them on your own, the process of making hot cross buns is a celebration of craftsmanship and the joy of homemade treats. So, roll up your sleeves, preheat that oven, and let the aroma of freshly baked hot cross buns fill your home with baking bliss.

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