THE MOST PERFECT HOT CROSS BUN RECIPE
Makes 12 / prep time 20 mins / cook time 30 mins (plus soaking, proving, cooling)
- 100 gm currants
- 100 gm sultanas
- Juice of 1 orange
- 40 ml Pedro Ximénez
- 50 gm candied orange peel, finely chopped
- 200 ml milk
- 3 tsp dried yeast
- 470 gm strong baker's flour
- 2½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 1½ tsp ground nutmeg
- ¾ tsp ground allspice
- ½ tsp ground cloves
- 60 gm light brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 60 gm softened unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
- Finely grated zest of ½ orange
- 1 tsp sunflower oil
- 150 gm (⅔ cup) caster sugar
- Juice of 1 orange
- Scraped seeds from ½ vanilla bean
1. Combine currants and sultanas in a bowl with orange juice and Pedro Ximénez, then cover and soak overnight. Stir through candied peel and set aside.
2. Warm half the milk in a saucepan over low heat until just lukewarm, then combine with yeast in a bowl and stir to combine.
3. Place 420gm flour, combined spices (reserve ¼ tsp spice mixture), sugar, egg, yeast mixture, remaining milk and ¾ tsp salt in an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook and mix on low speed until combined (5 minutes). Add butter, zest and oil and mix until combined. Drain soaked fruit (reserve liquid). Stir fruit through dough just until incorporated. Place dough in a bowl lightly greased with butter. Cover and set aside to prove until dough has doubled in size (2 hours).
4. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Knock back dough, divide into 12 pieces, then roll each into a smooth ball, dusting with a little flour if needed to prevent dough sticking (do not add too much as dough will become tough). Place buns on tray in even rows, leaving a 2cm gap. Set aside to prove until doubled in size (30-40 minutes).
5. Preheat oven to 180°C. Combine remaining flour and reserved spice mixture in a small bowl with 40ml water and mix to a paste. Transfer paste to a piping bag, snip the end and pipe crosses over buns. Bake until golden and cooked through (25-30 minutes).
6. For glaze, combine ingredients and 1-2 tbsp reserved fruit liquid in a saucepan over low heat, stirring until sugar dissolves and a syrup forms (2-3 minutes). While buns are hot, brush syrup over liberally, then set aside to cool slightly. Serve hot cross buns warm or at room temperature.