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Saffy’s Sticky Hot Easter Buns

April 18, 2012
Happy Anniversary Birdspeed!Easter is a very very important time for me as it marks the moments when I first became Birdspeed in Barbados. I have always wanted to make hot cross buns, and the best part was sharing the love!  Also I made these the day I finished my dissertation, so I added a litle extra spice as I was in a really good mood. xxxx

Time

Make sure you give yourself quite a bit of time to make these, because even though they only take 15 – 20 minutes to bake, the prep takes at least 3 hours!  I danced whilst waiting for the dough to rise … no rest for the wicked 😉

This recipe was adapted from ‘Good Housekeeping’ April (Good Housekeeping Publications, 2012)

Ingredients:

600g Strong White Bread Flour and extra for dusting rolling surface, 2 tbsps. Mixed Spice, 1/2 tsp salt, 50g cold unsalted lighter Butter and extra for greasing, 75g Caster Sugar, finely grated zest of 1 Lemon, 1 x 7g Sachet Fast – Action Dried Yeast, 320ml Skimmed Milk, 1 medium Egg, 150g Sultanas, 2 tbsp plain Flour, Golden Syrup to glaze

Helpful Tip

If you have never made hot cross buns before it is a good idea to make an extra ball from the dough, or split one of the 12 in half in order to test it to see if it is done when baking.  I had never made hot cross buns before, so having an extra bun allowed me to taste the dough to check when the rest were ready.  Do make an extra ball which is too small, for if it is a difference size it will be cooked quicker or earlier.

Method:

1. Put the strong white bread flour, mixed spice and salt into a large mixing bowl and mix together.
2. Rub butter into flour mixture until it looks like fine breadcrumbs.
3. Stir in the sugar, lemon zest, yeast.
4. Make a well in the centre of the flour mix.
5. Warm the milk a little and pour into the centre.
6. Then add the egg and mix everything to form a soft dough, if it is dry add a little more milk
7. Dust the work surface with some flour and knead until it is elastic, this should take 5 – 10 minutes. (Work those arms!)
8. Transfer the dough (as a ball) to a smaller lightly greased bowl.
9. Cover with clingfilm and then leave this to rise for an hour.
10. Dust the work surface with flour again if needed to work in the sultanas.
11. Once the sultanas have been kneaded in, cover with clingfilm again and leave to rise again for 30 minutes.
12. Lightly grease a baking sheet with butter.
13. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces. Turn into small balls then flatten slightly.
14. Arrange balls on baking sheet then cover with a clean tea towel and leave to rise for 45 minutes. (I told you so.)
15. Preheat the oven to 220 degrees C/ Gas Mark 7.
16. Put the plain flour into a small bowl and then add enough water to make a smooth paste.
17. Use a piping bag to put crosses on the buns.
18. Bake the buns for 15 – 20 minutes or until they are golden and have risen.
19.  As soon as they come out of the oven brush them with golden syrup.

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