Would you be surprised if you know that I hadn’t tried the cross buns until I moved to Australia?
As Easter’s coming around the corner every year, lots of hot cross buns are on sale at every supermarket here in Australia. Well, I think I’m not exaggerating. Who would not try some when seeing those soft and fresh buns? Neither would I. They are really delicious for those who love eating buns with currants and/or mixed dried fruits inside. The crosses on the buns indicate that it’s a festive snack for Easter. But I wonder how many people would care.
I tried to bake some cross buns for this year’s Easter as my husband likes bread with raisins very much. Although these cross buns are good for Easter seasons, they can also be healthy snacks for morning teas. Just skip the step of making the cross over tops of buns if desired when baking on ordinary days.
- 2 cups plain flour (or organic plain flour )
- 7g dried yeast
- 3/4 cups dried currants
- 2 Tbsp caster sugar
- 3/4 tsp mixed spice
- pinch of salt
- 20g unsalted butter (cut into cubes)
- 150ml milk
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 4 Tbsp plain flour
- 2 to 2 1/2 Tbsp water
- 2 Tbsp water
- 1 Tbsp caster sugar
- In a large bowl, combine sifted flour, dried yeast, mixed spice, sugar, salt, and currants.
- Use a little saucepan, melt butter. Add milk to cook for 1 minute until lukewarm.
- Add warm milk mixture and egg to flour mixture. Use a flat-bladed knife or spatula to combine thoroughly. Use clean hands to complete mixing and form a soft dough. Note: The dough is very sticky at this stage. You need more patience to knead the dough until you feel the surface of the dough is not-so sticky, around 15 minutes. If you have an electric bread machine, that’s easy. Use your machine to combine ingredients and form dough according to the instructions of your menu. No dirty hands then. Haha…
- Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for 10 minutes until smooth. Place into a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and a towel on top. Set aside in a warm place for 1 to 1 1/2 hours until dough doubles in size (see picture above).
- Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Punch dough with your fist to release some gas (see picture below), and let dough return to its original size.
- Knead dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth. Divide into 12 even portions and shape each portion into a ball. Place balls onto lined tray, around 1cm apart. Cover with plastic wrap. Let sit for 30 minutes until buns double in size.
- Preheat oven to 190C (374F).
- Mix flour with water together to make smooth flour paste. If it’s too thick, add a little more water as you go. Transfer to a small snap-lock bag, snipping off a corner of the bag. Pipe flour paste over tops of buns to form crosses. Pop in the preheated oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until buns are brown and cooked through.
- While baking buns, mix sugar with water in a small saucepan. Warm over low heat, until sugar dissolves. Brush warm glaze over cooked hot cross buns. Serve warm. Delicious!