My mom does not like to bake. I don’t remember her ever making bread or pizza dough, there was a good bakery near us growing up and that was good enough for us. The only time she ever got the yeast out and used it, was for hot cross buns.
She would make it right before bed and put it in the fridge over night. In the morning she would wake up before all of us and pull it out, and let it proof and we would wake up to the incredible smell of freshly baked bread. It was such a treat.
My mom loyally made Marion Cunningham’s for years, and they are darn good. But I had some at a friends house a few years ago that had more of a spice to them, and when I saw this Jamie Oliver recpie I just had to try it.
These are beautiful hot cross buns, with more then a vague hint of spice they are very soft and gently sweet. I made a few changes, I use honey instead of sugar, and I added salt, because everything tastes better with a bit of salt, and they are splendid. And officially my new go to hot cross bun recipe!
Hot Cross Buns
(adapted from Jamie Oliver)
1/4 cup Honey
2 1/4 tsp Yeast
2/3 cup Water- warm but not hot, about the temperature of your body.
3 cups Flour
1 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tso Ginger
1/2 tsp Nutmeg
1/2 tsp Cardamon
1/2 tsp Salt
1 cup Currants
Zest of 1 Orange
1/4 cup Butter- melted
1/4 cup milk- warmed slightly
1 Egg Yolk
2 tbsp Milk or Cream
1 cup Icing Sugar
1-2 tbsp Cream or Milk
Make Hot Cross Buns
Mix 1 tablespoon of the sugar with the yeast and water, and let it sit until it gets frothy on the top.
Meanwhile, in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with dough hook mix all the other ingredients.
Make a well in the middle and Pour the yeast mixture into it.
On slow to medium speed mix the dough until it becomes soft and elastic, and if you stretch a little piece of it with your fingers you can get it so thin you can almost see through it.
Put it in a bowl and let it sit in a nice warm place for about an hour or until it has doubled in size.
Once it’s nice and big take it out of the bowl, put it on a work space- if it’s sticky you can add a bit of water but you shouldn’t need to.
Cut it in half and then roll out each half into a log and cut into 6 equal pieces.
Roll them into balls- put the palm of your hand over each piece, apply a decent amount of pressure and slowly move your hand in circles. After about 4 circles flip the piece upside down- it should be sealed on the bottom. If it isn’t, push it into a few more circles. This takes some practice, but don’t worry if they’re not perfect.
Put them into a buttered baking dish- I used an 8x8 inch square pan.
(Note: If you want to bake these the next day, cover with saran wrap and put them in the fridge. The next day take them out and let them come to room temperature and double in size- this will take about 2 hours.)
Cover with seran wrap and let sit until they’ve doubled in size again.
Preheat your oven to 350F
Mix your egg wash and gently brush it on top of the buns.
Put into the oven and cook until the buns are gently crisped on the top, have turned a nice brown colour, and are cooked inside- about 25 minutes
Once they have cooled mix your icing- Combine 1 tbsp of milk or cream with the icing sugar and mix until they’re totally combined and lump free. If it’s too thick add a little more cream, if it’s too thin add a little more icing sugar. You want it to be reasonably thick so it will stay in nice lines.
Put the icing in a piping bag and pipe on the crosses.