Hot Cross Sticky Buns

April 5, 2012

Easter fanatics and hot cross bun purists, don’t panic; these Hot Cross Sticky Buns isn’t some attempt to usurp a beloved Easter staple or to reinvent a classic. This is just a story about a big ass sugar craving for molten stick-to-your-teeth scrolls of cinnamon goodness. However using plain sweet bread as the base wasn’t going to cut it this time. I wanted spices, raisins, extra cinnamon and a bit more hot-cross-bun-fierceness. This is like delving into the best of both worlds and having my greedy fingers in two pies. I can have my two buns and eat it too because honey, I’m wurrrrrth it!

I used my favourite hot cross bun recipe that I love love so much. It’s such a winner especially for somebody who doesn’t get down with the yeast that often. The texture is insanely good and better than what you get at the stores. Even if I’ve over-baked the exterior a little (guilty many times over), the bun inside is always soft and super fluffy. Sticky bun or not, you simply must try this homemade version at least once every Easter. I enjoy it all year round :)

I love nothing more than peeling away the sides of this bun and eyeing off the layers laced with brown sugar and cinnamon. Then there is the caramel pecan-studded top. Gor-geous.

I chose not to over-indulge this time round and kept the caramel topping at a minimum because I wanted this sweet but not sickeningly so. Kind of more of a sticky toffee glaze rather than a full-blown oozing cascade. But heck, if you want to get all caramel-running-down-your-fingers-dirty then go right ahead and make these babies some extra ooze to bathe in.

Hot Cross Sticky Buns
Yields 8
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  1. 155ml warm milk
  2. 30g caster sugar
  3. 7g dried yeast (1 packet)
  4. 300g plain flour
  5. 1/2 tsp salt
  6. 3/4 tsps ground cinnamon
  7. 1/2 tsp all-spice
  8. 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  9. 30g butter, softened and chopped
  10. 1 egg, lightly beaten
  1. 30g butter, melted
  2. 60g brown sugar
  3. 1/2 Tbl ground cinnamon
  4. Raisins or sultanas
  1. 180g brown sugar
  2. 45g butter, chopped
  3. 45ml golden syrup
  4. 1/2 Tbl water
  5. pinch of sea salt
  6. 3/4 cups of pecans, roughly chopped
  1. Whisk the warm milk, sugar and yeast together until sugar has dissolved. Cover and leave for about 10 minutes to froth up and bubble.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and spices. Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles rough breadcrumbs. Add the beaten egg and frothy milk/yeast mixture and mix until combined.
  3. On a lightly floured surface knead dough until it is smooth, elastic and doesn’t stick to your hands or table (about 5 minutes if you’re a powerhouse or up to 10 minutes if you got weak ass arms like me).
  4. Lightly grease another large bowl and plonk the dough in, turning to coat all sides with grease. Cover and leave in a warm draught-free place for 45 minutes or until it has doubled in size.
  5. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  6. For the filling, mix the brown sugar with the cinnamon until combined. To make the topping, melt all the ingredients except for the nuts in a pot over low heat, bring to a simmer then remove from heat.
  7. Punch down the dough and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll out the dough into a rectangular approx. 35 x 25cm (with the longest side facing you). Brush with melted butter and sprinkle the sugar cinnamon mix over the whole surface. Sprinkle raisins in a single layer leaving an inch border on the sides and at the top.
  8. Starting with the side closest to you, roll up the dough as tightly as you can, pinch the ends to seal and place seam side down. Using your hands, mould out the rolled dough into an even log.
  9. With a very sharp knife, cut into 8 slices of about 4-5cm thickness. Try not to ‘press’ down but use a light see-saw motion and let the knife do the work.
  10. Pour the topping into a large greased or non-stick pyrex or baking dish (you could also use a large pie dish or about 2 x 20cm sandwich cake tins). If the caramel has hardened a bit, warm it back up over the stove.
  11. Scatter the pecans over the caramel and place buns, cut side down. Make sure you fit them in together so that they’re just touching.
  12. Place on a baking paper lined tray (caramel will bubble up and might spill over) and bake for about 20 minutes or until the buns are lightly golden and it sounds hollow when you tap it.
  13. Remove from oven and rest for 5 minutes. Place a plate or serving dish on top then carefully invert onto the plate. Be careful of hot tins and molten caramel!
  14. (I used a 20cm sandwich cake tin then placed another matching one on top. Then with oven gloves, tipped it over nice and easy).
  15. Serve warm and best eaten within a day. After a day, buns can be reheated gently in a microwave to soften.
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