Ooh, there's nothing like warm hot cross buns straight from the oven with lots of butter slathered on top so it's all lovely and melty. Easter seems to give us loads of baking opportunities but this is my favourite. I've thrown caution to the wind here and messed with a classic recipe but I think it really works. My inspiration came from Natural Selection Foods and their cinnamon cranberries, they are the perfect addition and you could try them for yourself if you enter my giveaway. The winner will be chosen on Thursday 5th April
The lovely people from Natural Selection are offering 1 lucky winner an extremely generous hamper of baking goodies that will keep you very busy. You can also 'like' their face book page and print a £1.00 Off voucher to spend at Asda or Sainsbury's.
The hamper includes:
3 Packs Chopped Apricots
3 Packs Dried Cranberries
3 Packs 5 Fruit Mix
3 Packs Crystallised Ginger
3 Packs Cinnamon Cranberries
3 Packs Chopped Dates
2 Packs Crimson Raisins
A Natural Selection Apron
A Rolling Pin
And A Copy of The Great British Bake Off How To Bake Book
All you have to do is : a) Leave a message on this post
b) Spread the word on Face Book & Twitter
c) 'Like' Natural Selection Foods on Face Book
HOT CROSS BUNS
500g Bread Flour CROSSES
15g Yeast 2 tbsp Plain Flour
60g Butter 1 tbsp Sugar
40g Sugar Water to Mix
1tsp Cinnamon GLAZE
1/2tsp Nutmeg 1 tbsp Sugar
1/2tsp Cardamom 1 tbsp Water
100g Cinnamon Cranberries
250ml Warm Milk
1 tsp Orange Extract
Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and rub in the butter and fresh yeast if your using it. Now add the warm milk, orange extract and eggs. Because it is such a sticky dough I start it off in my freestanding mixer using the dough hook. When it has all come together tip it onto a lightly floured surface and knead by hand for 8-10 minutes. If it sticks to the surface dust your hands with flour till it stops.
It's important that you don't add too much flour so dusting your hands rather than the surface will reduce this. Remember, the softer your dough, the softer your buns will be - ooh err misses.
Return the dough to a floured bowl and cover with cling film or, GENIUS TIP ALERT! A disposable shower cap - the one's you get free from hotels.
Leave the dough to rise in a warm place for 1 hour then remove it from the bowl, divide it into 12 pieces and shape into buns. Put them onto a baking sheet lined with parchment, cover with a clean t-towel and leave in a warm place for another hour.
Your buns should be lovely and plump now so mix the batter for the crosses. You want it pipeable but not so runny it just slides off your buns. First brush each one with egg wash then pipe on the crosses. Bake them at 220C for 15-20 minutes. Keep an eye on them though as sweet bread tends to burn quite easily.
While they are baking warm the sugar and water till the sugar melts. As soon as they come out of the oven brush the tops with the glaze to give them a gorgeous sticky shine.
GOOD LUCK WITH THE GIVEAWAY