Sunday, 29 March 2015

Hot Cross Buns (in the breadmaker)

I've reached the third trimester, and find myself constantly hungry. I'm getting pretty bored of just eating 10% larger meals... and it's also sometimes just not enough. So -- time to make some tasty, carb-tastic snacks which are also apropos for the time of year :) It's still 30C here during the day so I didn't really feel like kneading a lot of dough, so I searched for a bread machine recipe for hot cross bun dough. It's an American site so everything's in cups, but it has a handy metric conversion... if you don't mind measuring out something as nonsensical as "77.84 ml of butter", or "3.23 ml of ground cinammon". So here's my best shot at the same recipe in weight-based units, so you can whack the pan on a set of scales and get going.

For the dough:
  • 1 egg and 1 egg yolk
  • 200ml milk
  • 70g butter
  • 80g sugar
  • zest of half a lemon
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 600g plain white flour
  • 1 tbsp dried yeast
  • 75g sultanas or raisins
For the glaze:
  • 55g icing sugar
  • ~ 1 tbsp milk

Break the egg and separate the yolk into the bread maker (save the white for another meal). Put the rest of the ingredients in, except for the raisins, cutting the butter into smaller pieces. Put the raisins in the nut dispenser if you have one; otherwise set a timer so you can add them just before the second knead. Put the bread maker on the dough setting.

When the timer has finished, take the dough out cut it into 18-24 pieces (I used a pair of scissors and the divide-by-two or three each-time method). Line a 23x33cm (or thereabouts) baking tin with greaseproof parchment, or oil well. Roll each piece of dough into a ball and arrange in the tin about 1 cm apart. Don't worry if they look crowded.

Cover with another sheet of greaseproof parchment or oiled clingfilm, and put somewhere warm to rise for an hour. (I used the 'warm' function of my oven on a 40C setting.) Using a very sharp knife, slice the traditional cross in each one, then bake at 190 C for 12-15 minutes until golden on top. (I erred on the shortest time and got great results -- don't leave them in too long or they'll go tough!)

Mix up the glaze by adding a little milk at a time to the icing sugar until it reaches a pourable but thick consistency. Once the buns have cooled for 5-10 minutes, use a spoon to drizzle the icing into the crosses, and leave to cool for a further few minutes. Then serve with a cup of tea :)