What do you get when you pour hot water down a rabbit burrow?
Hot cross bunnies.
Admit it, that was funny.
My friends, it’s Easter again and whether you are religious or just worship the altar of food, there’s no denying one thing – much eating of the hot cross bunnies buns must be had. I absolutely die for these buns and there has been many moments where I would pick up a bag of hot cross buns and just sniff it before carrying on, be it at the supermarkets or my kitchen. Seriously, I’m a hot cross bun predator and I need to be locked away.
Let me tell you why I love them. It’s the spices – the warmth of cinnamon, the fire of allspice and the earthiness of nutmeg. It’s also the scattering of plump, chewy sweet raisins and how they work like a symphony with a soft bread and a generous knob of butter.
Oh baby, I just want more. More. MORE!
Tick this off my never-ending list of ‘Things I have to make for myself before I cark it. I have to admit, this recipe from Fresh Living is pretty good. Personally I’d add a little more sugar and spices but thank goodness, they didn’t come out as stone weaponry. Sadly these get stale rather quickly (as in the next day!) but a quick zap in the microwave will soften them up again. Luckily in our house, a dozen buns don’t last past a few hours.
But do give it a try because buying it from the store just doesn’t allow you the pleasure of punching down risen bread dough or basking in the emanating aromas from the oven. If anything, you’ll have people clamouring for your tasty buns (hahaha geddit?).
Buns and bunny jokes in one post – I’m on fire!
- 310ml warmed milk
- 60g caster sugar
- 16g / about 4 tsps of dried yeast (or if it's easier to measure, use 2 x 7g satchels)
- 600g plain flour, sifted
- 1 tsp salt
- 1.5 tsps ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp allspice
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 60g butter, softened
- 1.5 cups of raisins / sultanas (375ml) – or to taste
- 2 eggs
- 60g plain flour
- 60ml water
- 2 Tbl apricot jam, warmed in a pan over low heat and strained
- In a bowl, whisk together the sugar, milk and yeast together until sugar has dissolved. Cover and set aside for 10 minutes or until it becomes frothy.
- Mix the flour, salt and ground spices in a large bowl. With your fingers, rub the butter into the flour until mixed and crumbly. Stir in the raisins/sultanas, egg and frothy yeast mixture until combined.
- On a lightly floured surface, knead the bread dough for about 5 minutes until smooth and elastic. Lightly grease another large, clean bowl, place the dough in and turn to coat the surface with grease. Cover in clingwrap and leave in a warm, draught-free place for 45 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.
- When ready, remove the clingwrap and use your fist to punch down the dough (one of life’s greatest pleasures). Give it a quick knead until smooth and divide into 12 rounds.
- Place the buns into a greased 20 x 30cm baking tray, cover with clingwrap and leave in warm place to rise for 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
- Whisk together the plain flour and water to a smooth paste. Pipe crosses on top of the buns and bake at 200°C for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 180°C bake for a further 15 minutes. Buns are ready when it sounds hollow when you tap the tops.
- Brush with warmed apricot jam while the buns are still warm.
- Recipe adapted from Fresh Living