I love hot cross buns.
Actually, ‘love’ isn’t strong enough to explain my emotions about hot cross buns. One year I bought 8 dozen and froze them to ration throughout the year because I was so upset that there weren’t going to be any in the stores for 9 months. They took up our whole freezer.
So to rectify my predicament that I love a seasonal food I embarked upon a mission to perfect a hot cross bun recipe, and this is it.
There are so many things you could title these hot cross buns:
- No knead hot cross buns
- Homemade artisan hot cross buns
- Vegan hot cross buns
- Fruity hot cross buns
But really they are just perfect and even better they can be customised to however you like them because they are super versatile. Don’t like peel? Leave it out. Like them light and fluffy? Let them rise the second time for 3 plus hours. Change the fruit, change the spices, make a loaf not buns, do as you please, this recipe will oblige your whims.
Don’t be scared of the 20 hour time frame, surely you can happily give up kneading for sleeping. I would recommend mixing your dough in the afternoon/evening, making the buns for the second rise in the morning to cook in time for morning tea on Easter Sunday.
Perfect Hot Cross Buns
Makes 12-18, 20 mins prep plus 20 hours rising
3 cups of bread flour (bread flour is higher in protein, but normal will be fine)
¼ cup of sugar
1 tsp yeast
1 ½ tsp salt
1 tsp each of cinnamon, all spice and mixed spice
80g of candied citrus peel
75g each of currants, sultanas and raisins
1 7/8 cups of water
Flour and water paste
3 tbs milk (for vegan, use soy, almond or rice milk)
Combine the first four ingredients and spices so the yeast is well distributed.
Mix the fruit into the dry ingredients, then stir in the water. Ensure there are no clumps of dry flour, but no need to stir past that point.
Cover the bowl with cling wrap and rest on the bench for 12 to 20 hours (as I said this recipe is very forgiving).
Your dough should have at least doubled in size and be very sticky. Scrape it onto a well-floured surface; lightly cover the dough in flour so it is no longer sticky.
Knock the dough back to get the air out, then divide the dough into 12-18 pieces (depending on the size you want your buns).
Make sure each bun is lightly covered in flour before placing it in a baking tray. Rest the dough for 2 hours, covered with a tea towel, to rise again.
Pipe flour paste crosses on the top of the buns before popping them in a 220 degree oven for 30 mins. Half way through the baking time, brush milk on top of the buns to help them turn golden brown.
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