Easter Hot Cross Buns

INGREDIENTS

Buns:

  • 3 teaspoons instant or rapid rise yeast (9 grams) 
  • 1/2 cup (110g) sugar 
  • 1 1/2 cups (375ml) milk, warm 
  • 4 1/4 cups (640g) bread flour (or plain / all purpose) 
  • 2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 2 tsp All Spice 
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (210g) sultana raisins 
  • oranges, zest 
  • 50g / 3.5 tbsp  unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 egg , at room temperature

Extra flour for dough:

  • 1/4 cup (35g) Extra bread flour

Crosses:

  • 1/2 cup (75g) flour (any white flour)
  • 5 tbsp water

 

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Place flour, yeast, sugar, all spice, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl. Briefly mix with stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. 
  2. Add butter, milk, egg, sultanas and zest.
  3. Standmixer: Mix until a smooth elastic dough forms - 5 minutes on Speed 2 of standmixer. After 1 minute, add extra flour if required, just enough so dough comes away from side of bowl when mixing and doesn't stick terribly to your fingers. 
  4. Hand kneading: Alternatively, dust a work surface with flour and knead by hand for 10 minutes.
  5. Dough is kneaded enough when it's smooth and does not break when stretched. 

Rise #1:

  1. Leave dough in the bowl, cover with cling wrap and place in a warm, wind free place to rise until doubled in size. This will take anywhere between 30 minutes to 1 1/2 hours depending on how warm it is. A warm place like a warm dryer will help it rise faster! 
     

Forming Balls:

  1. Line a 9 x 13" tray with baking paper with overhang.
  2. Remove cling wrap and punch dough to deflate.
  3. Dust work surface with flour, place dough on work surface, shape into a log - this will deflate the air. Cut into 12 equal pieces.
  4. Take one piece and press down with palm, then use your fingers to gather into a ball, then roll the dough briefly to form a ball. This stretches the dough on one side and that's how I get a nice smooth surface.
  5. Place the ball with the smooth side up on the tray. Repeat with remaining dough. Line them up 3 x 4.
     

Rise #2:

  1. Spray a piece of cling wrap lightly with oil (any), then loosely place over the tray.
  2. Return tray to warm place and leave 30 - 45 minutes, until the dough has risen by about 75% (less than double in size).
  3. Partway through Rise #2, preheat oven to 180°C/350°F (all oven types).

Crosses:

  1. Mix flour and water until a thick runny paste forms. 
  2. Spoon into a round 3 mm piping bag or small ziplock bag then snip corner.
  3. Remove the cling wrap and pipe crosses onto the buns. Go slow so it hugs the curves.

Baking/Glaze:

  1. Bake for 22 minutes, or until the surface is a deep golden brown. 
  2. Remove buns from oven. Use overhang to lift buns onto a cooling rack. Serve warm.