honey & cinnamon hot cross buns

One a penny, two a penny, Hot cross buns...Another reason to be EGG-cited this Easter.

honey & cinnamon hot cross buns

Ingredients

BUN BASE

  • 1 2/3 cups (250g) strong (baker’s) flour
  • 1/2 cup (50g) milk powder
  • 1/4 tsp dried yeast
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) Manuka honey

HOT CROSS BUNS

  • 1 cup (160g) sultanas (optional)
  • 1 black tea teabag (optional)
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) Strega (Italian herbal liqueur) or brandy (optional)
  • 1 2/3 cups (250g) strong (baker’s) flour, plus extra to dust
  • 1 egg
  • 100g unsalted butter, chopped, plus extra softened to serve
  • 1 tbs ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp each ground nutmeg and five-spice
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup (160g) apricot jam

WHITE PIPING

  • 1/2 cup (75g) plain flour
  • 1 tbs caster sugar

 

METHOD

  1. For the bun base, combine all ingredients with 200ml water in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and stand in a cool, dark place for 12 hours to double in size.
  2. For the buns, if using sultanas, place sultanas, tea bag and Strega in a heatproof bowl with 1 cup (250ml) boiling water and stand overnight for fruit to soften.
  3. The next day, lightly dust a baking tray with flour. Place ultimate bun base in a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Add flour, egg, butter and 1 tsp salt flakes, and knead for 8 minutes or until mixture forms a ball.
  4. Drain sultanas and press through a sieve to remove excess liquid. Add sultanas and spices to dough and knead briefly to combine. Transfer to a floured work surface and knead to form a ball. Divide into 12 even pieces and, using the palm of your hand, roll into tight balls. Transfer to prepared tray, spaced 5mm apart. Cover with a clean damp tea towel. Set aside in a warm place for 1 hour to rise slightly.
  5. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  6. For white piping, combine flour, sugar and 1/3 cup (80ml) water in a bowl until combined. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a plain 3mm nozzle and pipe a cross on top of each bun.
  7. Splash a little water into oven to create steam (this helps buns expand before forming a crust), then bake on top shelf for 10 minutes or until slightly golden. Reduce oven to 180°C and bake for a further 20 minutes or until cooked through and bases are golden.
  8. Meanwhile, heat jam in a saucepan over high heat, stirring, until hot and loose.
  9. Strain through a fine sieve and keep warm. Brush hot buns with warm jam and set aside to cool for 30 minutes. Serve with extra butter.
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