Hot Cross Buns

... a Lenten favorite

By Florence Shea

Preheat oven to 375 degress. Grease a baking sheet large enough for 12 buns.

2/3 c.   tepid milk
1/3 c.   tepid water
1/4 oz. (7 grams) package active dry yeast
3 1/2 c. bread flour
1 tsp.   salt
1 tsp.   cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
2 tbsp.  sugar
2 oz.    raisans
1 oz.    dried cranberries
2 pieces  preserved ginger, finely chopped
2 tbsp.  mixed citrus peel
4 tbsp.  butter, melted
1         egg, beaten
1 tbsp.  all-purpose flour
1 tsp.   baking powder
1 tbsp.  water
            honey,to glaze

In a bowl, mix tepid mllk, water and yeast. If the yeast is active, you should soon see bubbles on the surface. If not your yeast is old - get new yeast.

Sift flour into another large bowl and add salt, spices, sugar and all the dried fruits and mixed peel. Make a well in the center and add the melted butter, egg and the yeast mixture, mixing well. Now you have a rough dough. Knead for 10 minutes until elastic, adding more flour if it is too wet. Put in a warm place, covered with a clean damp cloth to rise.
When the dough has doubled in size, knock the air out of it and knead again for a minute or so. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces and place on baking sheet with space between each one, cover with your cloth and put in a warm place to rise again.

Meanwhile make your cross mixture. Mix the all-purpose flour and water together to form a thick batter. Once your buns have risen to douible their size, spoon the batter into thin cross shapes on top of each bun. Bake in preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown. Move to a cooling rack, brush with honey and leave to cool.   

March 2, 2012     

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