Sunday, 8 April 2012

Hot Cross Buns


Hot cross buns! Hot cross buns!
One a penny two a penny - Hot cross buns
If you have no daughters, give them to your sons
One a penny two a penny - Hot cross buns!
Until lately my only association to Hot Cross Buns has been this nursery rhyme  i heard  in my childhood.Recently i understood the significance and importance of Hot Cross Buns to Easter Celebration. 
Hot cross buns are sweet ,small, spicy buns made with raisins and decorated with a white cross on top traditionally eaten on Good Friday. The Buns with their combination of spicy, sweet and fruity flavours has long been an Easter tradition.
The cross on top of the buns symbolises and reminds Christians of the cross that Jesus was killed on.
The buns were traditionally eaten at breakfast time, hot from the oven. They were once sold by street vendors who sang a little song about them.
"Hot cross buns, Hot cross buns,
One a penny, two a penny,
Hot cross buns."

Thus it was a great occasion for me to try my baking skills . Let me confess that i have, till date, tried my hands on baking bread only twice. And without being too modest, let me confess that they came out very well.  Thanks to the wonderful blog called  Cakes And More! by Suma Rowjee (Do check her blog at has been quite an inspiration to me at trying my hands on baking breads and her posts helped me to understand the importance of attaining good quality yeast before i start baking any bread. Good quality yeast is the first step to bake a bread successfully  There are three types of yeast available
  1. Active dried yeast- the most commonly available , the cheaper one and as i  understood the one that doesn't help the bread rise much.So not worth the try.
  2. Instant yeast - little expensive but totally worth it.This is the one i use in my breads,a brand called 4 seasons. You can also try Gloripan ,or any other instant yeast.
  3. Fresh yeast - short storage time and a little smelly
 Once you have your yeast , believe me baking a bread at home is so easy and very rewarding !!
Lets begin by baking these very easy and yummy hot cross buns .

Recipe Source : Adapted from  Joy of Baking

Ingredients : I halved the original recipe to get 6 buns

  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp instant yeast
  • 1/2 tsp white sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup refined flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (the original recipe says 1/4 cup for 12 buns ,therefore i halved the quantity but my buns were less sweeter and so i think it'll be good to use this quantity for that little sweetness)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • a pinch of ground cloves 
  • a pinch of all spice powder
  • a pinch of ground nutmeg (i did not use this as i didn't have it)
  • a pinch salt
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tbsp candied fruits ( didn't use them)
  • 2 tbsp chopped raisins 
  • 2 tbsp chopped pista( my addition, not in original recipe) 
 For the Glaze:
  • 4 tbsp powdered or icing sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp milk or cream
 Procedure  : In a small saucepan, or in the microwave, heat the milk until lukewarm . Add the yeast and 1/2teaspoon white sugar and stir to combine. Set aside for about 10 minutes or until the yeast is foamy.

Meanwhile in another bowl combine the flour, sugar, spices, and salt. 

Once the yeast is foamy, gradually add to the flour mixture and beat until the dry ingredients are moistened.(i have used my electric mixer with dough kneading hooks to test my new gadget, but this can be easily done with your hand)

Add the melted butter and a little more than half of the beaten egg and mix until incorporated. 

 Gradually add the candied and dried fruit and continue to knead the dough until it is silky smooth and elastic. Add more flour if necessary.

 Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, turning the dough once, so the top is lightly greased. Cover with plastic wrap or with a damp cloth and place in a warm spot to rise until it has almost doubled in size (about 1hour).


When the dough has doubled in size, gently punch it down to release the air, and divide into 6 equal pieces. Form each piece into a small round ball and place on a  lined baking tray . They should be spaced so they have enough room to double in size.
 Make an egg wash of the remaining beaten egg with 1/2 tablespoon milk or cream, and brush the tops of the buns with the wash.Place in a warm spot until almost doubled in size (about 1 hour).

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C). Brush the tops of the buns with the egg wash again

, and with a sharp, lightly greased knife, cut a 'cross' on the top of each bun. 
Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven and bake for about 15 minutes, or until the buns are nicely browned and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Place on a wire rack to cool completely before glazing.

Glaze: Combine the confectioners sugar and milk and mix until smooth. Place the glaze in a paper cone or a small plastic bag. Cut the end of the cone or bag and pipe a 'cross' on the top of each bun.

 Wishing you all a very HAPPY EASTER
Happy Baking !!


No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...