"Hot cross buns, hot cross buns,
One a penny, two a penny,
Hot cross buns.
If you have no daughters,
Give them to your sons.
Hot cross buns"
This Easter week I had the pleasure of making my first ever batch of homemade hot cross buns - with a colourful twist! I love baking, but had never thought of making hot cross buns before, always seeming to find myself focusing on the sweet stuff like cupcakes and larger cakes, so it was lovely to have a change and mix things up a bit - quite literally!
I was invited by Oven Pride to take part in their #HotCrossPride challenge to give my own, creative twist to a classic hot cross bun recipe and I decided to go for colourful crosses to appeal to the kids. I thought this would make a nice change from the usual yellowy cross that appears on all hot cross buns and I knew that my eldest boy would especially love a bun that had a variety of colours on them.
Now I have to admit, making homemade hot cross buns is no quick feat and I felt like I was on Bake Off waiting for my dough to proof for a total of three hours, but my creations were most definitely worth the wait and there's something so wholesome about serving up a plate of homemade treats for my family, instead of something shop bought.
For the buns -
300ml of milk
500g of strong bread flour
1 tsp of salf
75g of caster sugar
7g sachet of fast-action or easy-blend yeast
75g of raisins
50g mixed peel
Zest of 1 clementine
1 small apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped
For the cross -
Food colourings in your choice of colours
3tbsp of apricot jam for glazing
1. Bring the milk to the boil, remove from the heat and then add the butter. Leave it to melt in and cool to hand temperature.
2. Put the flour, salt, caster sugar and yeast into a bowl, making a well in the centre. Pour in the warm milk and butter mixture, then add the egg. Mix together with a wooden spoon, then use your hands to mix until you have a sticky dough.
3. Tip the mixture onto a lightly floured surface and need for five minutes until smooth and elastic. Put the dough in a bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave to proof in a warm place for 1 hour.
4. With the dough still in the bowl, add in the mixed peel, raisins, clementine zest and chopped apple. Mix it through the dough with your hands, making sure it's distributed evenly throughout. Leave to proof for another hour.
5. After the hour, divide the dough into 15 pieces and roll each piece into a ball shape on a lightly floured surface. Arrange the buns onto baking trays lined with parchment paper, giving enough space for each bun to rise whilst baking. Cover (but don't wrap) with more clingfilm and set aside for another hour.
6. Heat over to 200 degrees/gas mark 7. Mix the plain flower with 5tbsp of water and separate your food colouring mixtures into separate bowls. Spoon each colour into a piping bag one after the other to create the 'rainbow' effectand pipe a line on each direction in the middle of the bun to create a cross. Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown.
7. Heat the apricot jam to melt. While the jam is warm, brush it over the top of the warm buns and leave to cool. Then serve and enjoy your yummy and colourful Easter treat!
Check out the #HotCrossPride hashtag on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to see what my fellow baking bloggers were making!
*This is a collaborative post.