NZ House & Garden

Julie’s Hot Cross Buns

All good bread recipes take a little time to make but the wait is worthwhile when you can enjoy your own homemade hot cross buns. Soaking the raisins and currants overnight is key to the tender buns being studded with juicy fruit.

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BUN DOUGH

1 cup raisins

½ cup currants

2 oranges, zest and juice 1 tablespoon active dry yeast ¹⁄³ cup caster sugar

1¼ cups lukewarm milk 4 cups high grade flour 2 tablespoon­s mixed spice 50g butter, melted

1 egg, lightly beaten

CROSS MIXTURE

½ cup plain flour ¹⁄³ cup cold water

GLAZE (OPTIONAL)

¹⁄³ cup sugar

¹⁄³ cup water

1 teaspoon gelatin powder

Soak the fruit overnight in a bowl mixed with the orange zest and juice.

Next day, make the buns. Place yeast, 1 tablespoon of measured sugar and ½ cup measured milk in a small bowl and leave for 5 minutes until foamy.

Combine flour, spices and remaining sugar in a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Add yeast mixture, soaked fruit, remaining milk, butter and egg to the well. Mix together until a sticky dough forms.

On a lightly floured surface, knead dough for 5 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Transfer dough to an oiled bowl and cover with cling wrap; stand in a warm place until doubled in size (this will take up to 1 hour).

Grease a 20 x 30cm rectangula­r tin and line with non-stick baking paper. Divide dough into 12 equal portions, roll into balls and place in tin in rows. Cover and leave in a warm place for 30 minutes, to rise.

Preheat oven to 200°C. Make crosses by blending flour and water together until smooth. Place in a piping bag and pipe crosses onto buns. Bake 25-30 minutes or until browned and springy to touch.

Remove to cool. If desired, brush with warm glaze made by boiling all glaze ingredient­s together until sugar and gelatin dissolve. Makes 12

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