Hot Cross Bun’s… how to make your own!

Hot Cross Buns conjour up memories of Good Friday to me… toasted with a bit of cheddar (although my favourite way to eat them is toasted with Bovril and cheddar… but as Good Friday is a day of *no meat*… I have to forgo the Bovril… but only on this day:) ). Good Friday is the day that these “nom nom”s are traditionally eaten… but these days – they are available weeks before Easter… and sometimes available all year round!

courtesy of the Good Food website

Traditionally, the Hot Cross Bun is a sweet & spicy bun with raisins, marked with a white cross on top.  (Historically – this treat is linked with Christianity and the cross is a symbol of the Cruxification… hence the Good Friday link… duh… BUT there is a belief that these *cakes* pre-date Christianity and were eaten in honor of the Goddess Eostre (where the cross symbolised the four quarters of the moon and her festival is celebrated at the spring equinox)… 

There is even a superstition that sharing a Hot Cross Bun with someone else would ensure friendship for the coming year… But whatever you believe… I know that these little bundles of yeast-leavened, sticky and sweet but utterly spice and raisin filled joy are something that everyone should try at least once in their lives….

So whether you only eat them on Good Friday or leading up to Easter or even all year round; whether you eat them straight out the oven slathered in butter, or toasted, or with jam, or like me – with bovril and cheddar… this is a recipe for you

HOT CROSS BUNS (from the Good Food Mag of April 2009)

500g strong white bread flour

half a teaspoon salt

2 heaped teaspoons mixed spice

50g caster sugar

50g butter (in cubes)

200g raisins

7g dry yeast

200ml milk

2 eggs

  1. Stri in salt, mixed spice and sugar with flour
  2. Rub in the butter with your fingers
  3. Add raisins (or mixed fruit if you aren’t a fan of raisins)
  4. Sprinkle the yeast over the top
  5. Warm milk (needs to be hot enough to get the yeast going but cool enough so that you can put your fingers in without scolding them :)) – beat in the eggs & pour over dry ingredients
  6. using a knife (preferably blunt) – mix all together to make dough (it might be quite moist so let is soak for about 5min)
  7. Cut into 8pieces
  8. Shape into buns and place on a baking tray – which needs to be covered with some clingfilm for about 1hour or 1hour30min to proof (i.e. rise)
  9. Mix the *cross* flour with 2tablespoons of water and pipe over the buns to make a cross (you can put this *cross* mixture into a plastic bag and nick a corner to make a piper – hee hee)
  10. Bake at 220C for about 12-15min until beautiful and golden
  11. Brush with honey
  12. DIG IN

For the crosses – 2 tablespoons flour and honey for brushing

they may not be as *beautiful* as the storebought variety... but they tasted pretty good

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