This traditional Easter dessert is typically served on Good Friday. The cross shape on the top of hot cross buns reminds us of Jesus' cross.
- 3/4 c milk
- 1 1/2 tbsp honey
- 1 1/2 tbsp grapeseed or vegetable oil
- 10 tsp butter, chopped
- 3/4 c apple or pear juice, at room temperature
- 2 1/4 tsp dry yeast
- 1 egg, at room temperature
- 1/2 c dried currants
- 1/2 c sultanas
- 4 c bread flour
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp fine salt
- 1/2 c plain flour
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
- 1/3 c cold water, approximately
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
- 1 tsp powdered gelatine
- 1 tbsp water
Heat the milk in a small saucepan until hot; remove from heat. Add honey, oil, and butter; stir until butter has melted.
Whisk juice and yeast in a large bowl until dissolved. Add egg, then currants and sultanas. Add combined flour, cinnamon, and salt, then milk mixture; using your hands, mix together until combined. Cover with plastic wrap; stand in a warm place for one hour or until the dough doubles in size.
Briefly knead the dough on either a lightly oiled surface or floured surface for 10 seconds; return to bowl. Cover; stand in a warm place for one hour or until risen by half.
Divide the dough into 16 pieces; shape into balls. Place the balls in a greased square cake pan (for a softer crust), or onto a greased baking try, in four rows of four. Cover; stand in a warm place for 30 minutes or until risen by half.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Combine the flour and sugar in a small bowl. Gradually stir in the cold water until a smooth thick paste. Place flour paste into a small piping bag fitted with a small plain tube. Pipe crosses onto buns.
Bake buns for 25 minutes or until the buns are browned and sound hollow when tapped.
Combine ingredients in a small saucepan; stir over low heat, without boiling, until sugar and gelatin dissolve.
Transfer buns to a wire rack and brush tops with glaze. Cooked buns suitable to freeze. Not suitable to microwave.
Test kitchen tips: This recipe uses a small amount of yeast and relies on slow proofing, resulting in a more tender bun.
Bread flour is higher in gluten than plain flour, so it produces a better texture in the bun. Plain flour can be substituted.
The perfect warm places to proof yeast dough are a windowsill in sunlight or on an open oven door, with the oven set at a low temperature.
For fresh hot cross buns on Good Friday morning, make and shape the dough according to the recipe; cover loosely for their last proofing in the refrigerator overnight. Stand at room temperature for 45 minutes, pipe the crosses, then bake.