HOT CROSS BUNS - rich version
I have posted a recipe for these traditional buns before, but here is another version - from the ladies of the 1960s WI. There are two examples in their book and this one was entitled “richer” hot cross buns. The original recipe only used 4oz currants, so I will apologise to them now, because I like a lot more fruit than that per 1lb and these days, I like to add sultanas and citrus flavours too.
But I bake the base recipe exactly as printed. I will not use a flour and water mix for a cross on the top of the buns. Just a quick slash with a sharp knife for tradition sake.
Makes 12-13 buns @ 3 oz each [large ish]
1 lb plain flour
½ teaspoon mixed spice [I added aded more, at least a large heaped teaspoonful]
1 oz fresh yeast [ 2 teaspoons dried yeast]
3 oz caster sugar
4 oz currants [+ 3 oz sultanas and some peel to taste]
zest of a large orange [not in the original recipe]
4 oz melted butter
In a large mixing bowl, sieve the flour, salt and spice, then add the sugar, zest and fruit. Mix well to combine.
Break the eggs into a measuring jug, then make up to a scant ½ a pint [9 fl oz] with tepid milk, along with a teaspoon of the sugar. Whisk, then add the yeast and melted butter [not too hot] and leave to start working for ten mins.
Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the wet yeasty liquid. Mix or beat well. “must be a rather soft dough”. I found it too wet to knead initially, so used a scraper to mix the dough together, before transferring it to a floured worktop. When smooth, cover and leave to prove.
Turn onto a floured surface and knock back, then shape into buns and put to rise again. You all know I am a saddo and weigh each portion so they are the same size. More pics on my Blog.
Pre heat your fan oven to 175C [old 375F]
Bake for about 20 mins, although no timings are given in the book. Cool on a rack and brush with a sugar glaze. [you can flavour the glaze with something like cinnamon if you wish]
Glaze: Equal amounts, by volume, of granulated sugar and water. Place over a medium heat and dissolve the sugar, keep stirring, then simmer gently for 2 or 3 mins to thicken. Add flavouring of your choice, if using. I have used cinnamon - just delicious.
Note: I was absolutely delighted [as was my husband] with this recipe, the texture is brioche like and so soft. I made them again a few days ago, they are so good. A real find and one of the best hot cross bun recipes.
The following day, [and the next if there are any left] pop each one into a microwave for 20 seconds on re heat and they soften up as if they had just come out of the oven.