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!
I was flicking through a couple of cookbooks yesterday looking for some Easter inspiration as I wanted to find a recipe that wasn’t chocolate related. Then I spotted Catherine Fulvio on RTEs Four Live programme so I stopped to watch as I’m a big fan of Catherine and her recipes. She was making up a batch of delicious looking Hot Cross Buns. My dad is one of my chief tasters, but recently he’s been unable to sample any of my baked goodies as he suffers from terrible migraines. Chocolate and cream are an absolute no-no so Hot Cross Buns are just perfect for him.
Street vendors in the 19th century would sell Hot Cross Buns while shouting the above rhyme. Hot Cross Buns were (and still are) traditionally served around Easter time, with the cross signifying the resurrection of Christ following the crucifixion. They were typically served hot or toasted (hence the name!) with butter.
Did you know that according to English folklore, Hot Cross Buns baked and served on Good Friday will *keep* for the subsequent 12 months and that some people apparently hang theirs up as a charm against evil? No, I didn’t know that either.
What I do know is that I’ll be delivering mine to my dad this morning.
I’m sure there won’t be any left to hang up!
What you need:
1 orange peel (about 4 cm)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
900g strong flour, sifted
2 tsp caster sugar
14g (2 x sachets) dried yeast
200g mixed dried fruit*
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
½ tsp ground ginger
1 egg and 2 tbsp milk for egg wash
For the Cross:
8 tbsp plain flour
2 tsp caster sugar
8 tbsp water
5 tbsp caster sugar
5 tbsp water
Gently heat the milk, butter, cloves, orange peel in a saucepan, simmer for 2 minutes and allow to infuse for 10 minutes. Cool until blood temperature and sieve. Stir in the beaten egg.
Place the flour, yeast, spices, sugar and dried fruit in a bowl.
Pour the milk into the dry ingredients and bring together to form a ball.
Knead the dough on a floured surface for 10 minutes until smooth and place the dough into an oiled bowl, cover with cling wrap. Allow to prove in a warm place until it has doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 200°C
Knock back the dough and divide into 15 balls and shape into buns.
Place the buns onto a baking tray lined with parchment, placing them fairly close together but not touching.
Make a cross on the top of each bun with a knife and leave to prove for a further 1 hour or until doubled in size. The buns will be almost joined. Brush the buns with egg wash.
Mix the flour, sugar and water to form a thick paste (place the paste into a piping bag or a small plastic bag, cut a small corner off) and pipe a cross on each bun.
Place in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes until risen and golden.
Combine the sugar and water together and brush over the buns while still hot**
* I used a mixture of raisins, sultanas, mixed peel and glace cherries
** I forgot to do this. I also forgot to let them prove after they were shaped into buns but they turned out alright and himself said they were gorgeous. I’ll let you know what my dad says…