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HOT CROSS BUNS (UK)


Hot cross buns,
Hot cross buns,
One a penny,
Two a penny,
Hot cross buns.

If you have no daughters,
If you have no sons, 
One a penny,
Two a penny,
Hot cross buns.

If your sons don't like them,
They're the only ones,
One a penny,
Two a penny,
Hot cross buns.

I don't tell jokes
and I don't tell puns,
One a penny,
Two a penny,
Hot cross buns.

Get them while they're hot
and eat them by the ton,
One a penny,
Two a penny,
Hot cross buns.

Two pans of Hot Cross Buns - iced with cardamom/cinnamon glaze

Two pans of Hot Cross Buns - iced with cardamom/cinnamon glaze

 Hot Cross Buns have been synonymous with Good Friday for centuries.

  • English folklore said that hot cross buns baked on Good Friday would never spoil throughout the following year, and if one bun was hung in the kitchen all year, it would guarantee that all breads would rise!

  • Some took portions of the bun, mixed it with liquid, and made medicines.

  • Some sailors took hot cross buns on their voyages to ensure their ships wouldn’t sink, and most believed that evil spirits would be warded away due to the cross on the buns.

What you need:

  • Quarter sheet pan/cooling rack

  • Vegetable spray

  • Parchment paper to fit sheet pan

  • Bowl for soaking dried fruit

  • Stand mixer with dough hook and paddle

  • Bench flour

  • Spatula/flexible bench scraper

  • Large bowl, sprayed with vegetable spray

  • Small bowl for egg wash, fork or whisk

  • Pastry brush

  • Pastry bag or clean ziplock bag/scissors

  • Wet and dry measuring cups, measuring spoons

    Ingredients:

    • 3 cups all-purpose unbleached flour

    • 2.5 tsp instant yeast (= 1 packet)

    • 3TB+2 tsp sugar

    • 1 1⁄2 tsp kosher salt

    • 4 large eggs

    • 1⁄4 cup whole milk

    • 1.5 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature – cut into 1⁄2” cubes

    • 1 tsp fresh citrus zest (I like orange)

    • 3⁄4 cup dried currants

    • 1⁄2 cup dried cranberries

    • 1 tsp Vanilla paste (or sub in 1 1⁄2 tsp vanilla extract)

Egg wash: 1 large egg, beaten and strained

Glaze: 2 1⁄2 cup confectioner’s (powdered) sugar, 1⁄2 tsp cinnamon, pinch of ground cardamom, 2 1⁄2 TB whole milk Instructions:

Prep your pan:

• Spray a quarter sheet pan with vegetable spray, cut parchment paper to fit inside, and spray again

Prep the fruit:

  • Put the dried currants and cranberries in a bowl, cover with very hot water and soak for 5-10 minutes. Strain and spread out on a paper towel – pat dry.

  • Return fruit to bowl and mix with vanilla paste (or extract) and citrus zest and set aside.

Make the dough:

  1. Combine the flour, salt, sugar and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer with a dough hook, and blend for 10-15 seconds until mixed. Add the eggs and milk and mix on low for 4 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix for an and mix on low for 30 minutes. You will know that the dough is ready when it is glossy, and very sticky. Take your time here.

  2. Add the butter a few pieces at a time until incorporated, then add more. Stop and scrape the sides of the bowl and push any dough down that has crept up the hook. Mix for about 10 minutes until the dough is pale, shiny, and appears to start sticking to the bowl, forming spider-web like connections to the sides of the bowl.

  3. Add the soaked fruit and mix for another minute or two until incorporated.

  4. Lightly flour your work surface and ease the dough on to it with a bench scraper. Using the scraper (as your dough will be quite sticky), fold over the top edge of the dough to the middle, then do the same for the bottom. Turn the dough a quarter turn and repeat the folds. Repeat twice more, and then put the dough, seam side down, into a sprayed bowl.

  5. Cover with a tea towel or plastic wrap and let rise for 45 minutes.

Shaping and proofing:

  1. Turn dough out from bowl onto a lightly floured counter. Shape into a rectangle with your hands. Cut the rectangle into quarters, and then cut each quarter into thirds – yielding 12 pieces.

  2. While cupping your hand, roll each piece into a ball until smooth and place in quarter sheet pan - 3 across and 4 down.

  3. Brush gently with egg wash, cover with another sheet pan or (vegetable oil) sprayed saran wrap and let proof for 60-90 minutes until balls have risen and are touching.

  4. Brush again with egg wash, and then bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes. If using convection oven, bake at 325 for 17-22 minutes until golden brown.

  5. Remove from oven and set pan on cooling rack to cool completely.

Icing:

  • While the buns are cooling, sift the powdered sugar, cinnamon, cardamom into the bowl of your stand mixer. Attach the paddle and mix on low for 15 seconds. With the mixer running, slowly add the milk, stopping frequently to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Mix for 30 seconds until smooth and lump free.

  • Transfer icing to a disposable pastry bag or clean zip lock bag.

  • Cut off 1⁄4 inch from the tip of the bag and pipe icing across all the rows. Switch direction and pipe perpendicular to the first rows, forming a cross on top of each bun.

  • Serve buns in the pan or cut/gently tear into individual buns.