Bread

Fluffy Hot Cross Buns for Easter

How’s your week so far? 😀  Easter is just around the corner and I can’t wait to roll up my sleeves and work in the kitchen. You know what else I look forward to? Fluffy Hot Cross Buns.

Back when I was younger, we observed Holy Week in a more somber mood. I dreaded the arrival of Holy Week because it meant not being able to watch my favorite cartoon shows on TV.  TV and radio stations usually changed their regular programming to broadcast religious shows. Everyone was mostly in a serious and reflective mood.

But Easter was different. As if by magic, people (and TV shows) quickly switched back to their original, easygoing selves come Easter morning. On Easter, people went to the beach and ate out with their families and friends. Easter meant eating all the dishes that you weren’t allowed to eat during Holy Week.  But we didn’t have the tradition of eating a special kind of bread for Easter.

Enter Hot Cross Buns. These lightly sweetened and glazed buns were once considered reserved for special days (like Christmas and Good Fridays), and it was illegal to sell them on other days.

The distinctive cross mark on top of each bun gives this bread its name. The cross marks can either be made with flour and piped on top just before baking, or made with sugar and piped after the buns come out of the oven. I chose the sugar icing method because I like my buns sweet.

Hot Cross Buns are traditionally made on Good Friday. Legend has it that buns made on this day will not spoil, but I don’t think spoiling or leftovers are even a problem. Let me tell you, with these buns, any Friday will turn into a really good Friday (pun intended).

Ah, I can’t wait to kick back and laze around the house with a book and a bun (or more, don’t judge).

Would you just look at that? Absolutely divine. I hope I can get some self reflection done while munching on these goodies.

The recipe is actually a low medium although I rated it as ‘medium’ because it involves kneading the dough until the “window pane stage“.  This means that when you stretch a bit of the dough between your forefinger and thumb, it doesn’t break easily and can stretch to form a translucent membrane.

Fluffy Hot Cross Buns

Other than that, the rest of the steps are a cinch  to follow. You can customize the recipe to add your favorite nuts or dried fruits instead of the traditional raisins. I made mine with equal portions of raisins and dried cranberries.

Want to have these Fluffy Hot Cross Buns with a cup of coffee this Friday?

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Fluffy Hot Cross Buns for Easter


  • Author:
  • Prep Time: 2 hours 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours
  • Yield: 12
  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: English

Description

This recipe for the traditional Easter bread, Fluffy Hot Cross Buns will surely win you praises from your family. This Fluffy Hot Cross Buns recipe is easy to follow and delivers just the right buns to eat with your coffee or tea.


Ingredients

240 ml (1 cup) milk

2 eggs, large

480 grams (4 cups) bread flour

55 grams (1/4 cup) sugar

2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons cinnamon, ground

1 teaspoon cardamom, ground

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, ground

57 grams unsalted butter, softened

50 grams raisins

50 grams dried cranberries

For the glaze:

80 ml (1/3 cup) water

3 tablespoons icing sugar

For the icing:

120 grams (1 cup) icing sugar

2-4 teaspoons milk


Instructions

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the milk and eggs. Add the flour, sugar, yeast, spices, and salt and mix until a shaggy dough is formed.
  2. Add the raisins and dried cranberries and knead on low speed. While kneading, add the softened butter pats gradually. Knead until the dough is soft and smooth.
  3. Transfer the dough into an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let it rest for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until the dough has risen to double or more its size.
  4. Once the dough has risen, deflate it lightly and divide into 12 pieces. Shape into balls and place in a prepared 8×8 pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise until the dough balls double in size and touch each other, around 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  5. Preheat the oven to 375F/190C. Meanwhile, while the dough is resting for the second time, prepare the glaze.
  6. For the glaze: In a small saucepan over medium heat, simmer the water and the sugar until the sugar is dissolved and the liquid is reduced.
  7. Uncover the pan and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
  8. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Brush the glaze on top of each bun.
  9. For the icing: Combine the powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons of milk. Mix until a thick, but pipeable icing forms. If the icing is too runny, it is harder to pipe on top of the buns.
  10. When the buns have cooled enough, pipe the icing in a cross shape on top of each bun.

Notes

  • For Step 4, you can weigh the dough before dividing into equal portions. In my case, I had 88 grams for each portion. I was able to fit 9 buns in the pan and I used muffin cases for the other 3.
  • If the icing is runny, add more sugar. If the icing is hard to pipe, add a little milk.
 

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