24th Mar 2016 EAT IT

Hot Cross Buns

Hot-cross-buns  It’s almost Easter weekend which calls for a big batch of these pillowy, spiced hot cross buns. I’m using spelt flour instead of the normal strong white as it has more of a mellow, nutty taste. My kids love these and they are surprisingly easy to make… I don’t know why we don’t have these all year round!?

Hot-cross-buns3 Spelt Hot Cross Buns :
(makes 12)

For the roux:
30g spelt flour
125g water

For the glaze:
35g brown sugar
40g water
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the dough:
The roux
150g cold milk
2 teaspoons dried yeast (1 sachet)
1 large egg
400g spelt flour
45g sugar
1 pinch of sea salt
120g dried fruit of your choice (raisins, sultanas, cranberries etc)
2 teaspoons ground spices (cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, ginger etc)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
40g soft unsalted butter

For the roux, mix the spelt flour and water in a small saucepan. Stir over low heat until the mixture thickens and reaches a temperature of 65’C. Remove from the stove and pour this into the bowl of your electric mixer. Mix in the cold milk. The resulting mixture should be at a barely-warm temperature. Stir in the dried yeast and let it rest for a few minutes until it starts to bubble a little. Add the egg, followed by the flour, sugar, salt, spices, vanilla, dried fruit and unsalted butter. Knead on a low speed until the dough comes together and looks smooth (about 5-6 minutes). Cover and allow to prove for an hour or until doubled.

Transfer dough onto your kitchen bench. Divide into 12 pieces, each weighing 75-80g. Ball each piece and place them 1.5 inches apart on a lined baking tray. Cover with greased cling film and allow to prove until almost doubled in size (should take another hour).

Before baking, create the cross paste out of flour, water and a pinch of sugar. The paste will be wet enough to pipe, but still quite thick. To bake the buns, brush them lightly with extra beaten egg, then pipe the crosses and bake in a preheated 190’C oven for 13-14 mins, rotating the tray half way through. If they sound hollow when tapped, then they’re done.

While the buns are baking, prepare the glaze by bringing all the ingredients to a boil (to dissolve the sugar) and setting aside. When you take the buns out of the oven, brush them with the warm glaze and allow to cool.


Photography by Ieva Urenceva