Kitchen of Treats Hot Cross Buns

With Easter right around the corner we've got Hot Cross Buns on the mind! Superette's pal, Liv of Kitchen of Treats has kindly shared with us her divine Hot Cross Buns recipe for you to create these babies at home! 

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INGREDIENTS | MAKES 12

Dough:

1/2 Cup   Lukewarm milk

1/2 Cup   Lukewarm water

1/2 Cup   Brown sugar

4 tsp          Active Dried Yeast (check expiry date!)

75g            Butter, melted

1 large     Egg

1 tsp          Salt

4 Cups     High grade flour

3 Tbsp     Mixed spice

1 tsp          Ground cinnamon

½ tsp        Ground cloves

1 ½ Cups  Sultanas (or Raisins, or Apricots or Figs or Chocolate)

Crosses:

½ cup       Flour

½ cup      Cold water

Glaze:

1/4 cup   Sugar

3 Tbsp     Boiling water

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METHOD  | HAND KNEAD

- Measure the warm milk, warm water and one tablespoon of the brown sugar into a large bowl, then sprinkle in the yeast. Stir to ensure yeast dissolves before adding 2 cups of flour. Cover and leave in a warm place for about 30 minutes.
 
- In another bowl mix the melted butter and remaining brown sugar, then beat in the egg, salt, spices, and sultanas. Add the risen yeast mixture and the remaining flour and mix to make a dough just firm enough to knead, adding a little extra flour if necessary.

- Knead with the dough hook of an electric mixer or by hand on a lightly floured surface for 10 minutes or until the dough forms a soft ball and springs back when lightly pressed. Add the dough back to the mixing bowl, cover and leave in a draft-free place until it’s doubled in size – usually an hour or two – it depends on the temperature of the surroundings, among other things.
 
- Divide the dough evenly into four pieces then each of these into 3 or 4 (12 - 16 in total). Shape each piece into a round ball and arrange in a square or rectangular roasting pan (lined with baking paper), leaving about 1cm between each bun. Cover and leave in a warm place until buns double in size and puffed up into ‘proper’ bun size (they don’t rise any more when cooking, like cakes do.)
 
- To make the crosses whisk flour and water together until smooth, placing in a piping bag and form crosses on the buns.

- Bake at 225°C for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned.

- While the buns are baking, whisk the sugar and boiling water in a heatproof bowl until dissolved (Microwave on high for 20 seconds to help dissolve the sugar.)
 
- Brush the syrup on top of the buns as soon as they come out of the oven.
 
- Serve warm with lots of butter. (If you’re a spice fanatic, serve with my spiced butter recipe which is available on the Lewis Road Creamery website.)
 

METHOD  | BREAD MAKER

Measure all ingredients (except fruit) into the bread machine. Set to dough cycle and press start (add fruit when the cycle indicates to do so with a ‘beep’.) When cycle is complete, shape and bake as per above.

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LIV'S TOP TIPS & TRICKS 

- Use High Grade flour (if possible), it has a higher gluten content so works better with the yeast. 

- Check your yeast hasn’t expired and is still ‘active’.

- Make sure that your salt is thoroughly mixed into the flour, if salt comes in direct contact with yeast it will reduce its effectiveness.
 
- Optional: Soaking fruit prior to mixing will prevent the dried fruit taking moisture out of the dough. Cover the dried fruit in a bowl and cover with boiling water (or orange juice that has been warmed on the stove.) Seal/cover and leave for an hour or so. Drain the fruit in a sieve before using.
 
- Be patient and let your dough rise in a warm, draft free spot until it has doubled in size. Let it rise again after shaping it into buns.

- For defined ‘crosses’ make sure your cross mixture isn’t too runny, if so, add more flour. 
 
- For a great fruity alternative to the sugar/water glaze mix 4 Tbsps of Apricot Jam with 1/3 cup of water.

- Place water and jam into a small saucepan over low heat and stir until jam dissolves. Bring to the boil for 3-4 minutes, then remove from heat. Immediately brush glaze over warm hot cross buns.
 
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Enjoy! Don't hesitate to reach out if you have any other questions & tag @kitchenoftreats in your creations.