Hot Cross Buns,
Hot Cross Buns,
One a penny,
Two a penny…. Oh I had totally forgotten about it, thanks Anupa for reminding me.
Hot cross buns are traditionally eaten on Good Friday and days leading up to Easter. There are many superstitions surrounding these buns, from sharing it with a friend for life long friendship to being eaten when someone is ill. The cross signifies the crucifixion of Jesus and spices used to preserve him at burial.
Eaten to celebrate end of Lent, though it’s not my tradition to celebrate Easter but when it comes to food I make my own traditions and seems like these fit the bill perfectly for me. Since brioche dough is used here you can be sure that they are soft and rich at the same time. I like them straight out of oven with an extra pat or two of butter, eat them now you can worry about carbs later or run an extra mile tomorrow. Speaking of eating them straight out of oven, you have to let them cool before topping with the spiced icing, otherwise it melts.
A stand mixer is a must as the dough requires a long kneading. You can use any dried fruits or combinations from raisins, cranberry, currants or candied citrus peel to chocolate chips. Just keep proportions same. I have used zante currants and orange zest because I had them on my hand and I liked it because currants are small, without overpowering the flavor of bread or making it too sweet. Spices can be added to the dough itself but I just added orange zest. Instead of plain sugary icing this one is spiced with cardamom and cinnamon.
Recipe adapted from Bouchon Bakery
Makes: 12 buns
372 grams/ 2 1/2 cup all purpose flour
8 grams/ 2 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
44 grams/ 1/4 cup granulated sugar
9 grams/ 1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
1 tablespoon orange zest, optional
186 grams/ 3/4 cup eggs ( take 4 large eggs whisk lightly, measure out and keep remaining for egg wash), room temperature
63 grams/ 1/4 cup milk (preferably whole), room temperature
167 grams/ 3/4 cup/ 1.5 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature and cut into ½ inch cubes
180 grams/ 1 1/4 cups currants
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste, optional
258 grams/ 2 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cardamom, freshly grounded
40 grams/ 2 1/2 tablespoons milk (preferably whole)
Coat a large bowl with some oil or nonstick spray, set aside. In another bowl add dried fruits and add boiling water enough to cover it. Let it sit for 5 minutes, strain, dry properly using paper towel. Add it to clean bowl and mix vanilla bean paste if using, set aside. Skip this step if using citrus peel or chocolate chips.
Put all-purpose flour and yeast in the bowl of stand mixer with dough hook. Mix for 30 seconds on low. Add sugar, salt, milk, zest and eggs. Mix for 5 minutes on low-speed. Keeping the mixer for about 40 minutes on low (2 on kitchenaid), slowly add few pieces of butter. Make sure to fully incorporate before adding more. Once or twice in 40 minutes stop and scrape bowl with rubber spatula.
Lightly flour the work surface. Scrape the dough over it and with rubber spatula or bowl scraper. Make sure the dough doesn’t stick to the surface. Pat the dough into a rough square, about 12 inch long. Pour the dried fruit mix over and briefly knead. Pat again into square, fold it like a letter 1/3 over 2/3 and repeat with other side. Now do the same from the bottom and then the top. Set the dough, seam side down in the prepared bowl.
Repeat the folding process after 1 hour. Set aside for another hour. Spray a quarter sheet pan or baking pan about 9 by 12 inch with non-stick spray, line bottom with parchment paper and spray again.
Divide the dough into 12 equal parts (if using scale each will be about 78 grams), form tight balls. Arrange them in sheet or pan, 3 on smaller side and 4 on longer side.
Egg wash now and cover with a big plastic or cardboard box. Let it rise for 1.5 to 2.5 hours, until they are touching each other and doubled in size.
Meanwhile preheat your oven to 350°F with rack in the middle position. Egg wash again before putting them in oven. Bake buns for 22 to 25 minutes, until nice golden brown. Remove and place pan on cooling rack. Cool completely about 30 minutes.
Combine everything in a bowl using a whisk. Mix will be thick. Pour it in a piping or ziploc bag. Cut 1/4 inch of the tip and pipe the cross over buns. Serve individual buns. Once iced eat same day.