Justin’s a bit of a hot cross bun fanatic, so today I decided to surprise him by making a batch for lunch. This is a really soft enriched dough, so it’s not just laziness that made me resort to the Kitchen Aid. If you’re short of time, do the mixing, kneading and initial proving in a bread maker – it will knock 2 hours down to about 45 mins.
Makes: 8 big buns
For the tea-soaked fruit:
1 handful of sultanas
1 handful of dates, stoned and chopped
1 tbsp chopped mixed peel
hot black tea to cover
For the dough:
1 tsp easy blend dried yeast
400 g strong white bread flour
75 g stoneground wholemeal flour
1 tsp salt
25 g cornflour
75 ml milk
160 ml of the tea soaking liquor
1 egg, beaten
75 g softened butter
50 g runny honey
3 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp bread flour
1 – 2 tbsp water
4 tbsp runny honey
- Put the sultanas, dates and mixed peel in a bowl and pour over enough hot tea to cover by about 2 cm. Leave to soak for anything from 1 hour to overnight.
- Drain the fruit, reserving the liquid, and tip it into a free-standing mixer with the rest of the dough ingredients.
- Fit the dough hook and knead on a low speed for 10 minutes.
- Leave the dough to rest, covered with oiled clingfilm, for 2 hours or until doubled in size.
- Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured surface and shape it into 12 buns. Transfer the buns to a baking tray lined with a non-stick mat, then erect a clingfilm tent around them and leave to prove for an hour or so, until doubled in size again.
- Preheat the oven to 220°C (200° fan) / 425F / gas 7.
- Mix the plain flour with just enough water to make a thick paste and spoon it into a piping bag, then pipe a cross on top of each one.
- Bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through, then brush with honey before leaving to cool on a wire rack.
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