According to English folklore there are many superstitions surrounding hot cross buns. My favorite superstition is accompanied by the rhyme…
“Half for you and half for me,
Between us two shall goodwill be”
Apparently, if you share a hot cross bun while saying the above words it is meant to ensure friendship throughout the coming year.
This is my first attempt at making “Hot Cross Buns” so here’s to sharing them with all my blogging buddies… HaPpY eAsTeR!
Hot Cross Buns are traditionally eaten on Good Friday served either hot or toasted. Some believe the cross symbolizes The Crucifixion while others maintain the buns pre-date Christianity. The cross in Saxon times was in honour of the goddess Eostre and symbolized the four quarters of the moon.
For the buns
2 oz caster sugar, plus 1 teaspoon
5fl oz hand-hot water
1 level tablespoon dried yeast
1lb plain flour
1 level teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon mixed spiced
5 oz mixed fruit
1 1/2 – 2fl oz warmed milk
1 egg beaten
2 oz melted butter
For the glaze
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons of water
A greased baking sheet
Stir the teaspoon of caster sugar into the hand-hot water.
Sprinkle in the dried yeast and leave until a good frothy head forms.
Meanwhile, sift the flour, salt and mixed spice into a mixing bowl and add the 2oz sugar, dried fruit. Once the yeast mixture is ready, make a well in the centre of the dried ingredients and pour in the yeast mixture. Add the 1 1/2 flu oz warm milk, beaten egg and melted butter. Do not have the milk too hot! Mix to a dough using a wooden spoon. Add a drop more milk if needed. (suing the wooden spoon stops your hands becoming all sticky)
Transfer dough onto a clean surface and knead until feels smooth and elastic. (about 6 mins) Put the dough back into a bowl and cover with a lightly oiled plastic bag and leave in a warm place to rise. Takes about 1 hour (should double to orginal size)
Turn out and knead again back to original size. Divide mixture into 12 rounds and place on a greased baking tray. Allow plenty of room between each one for expansion.
*Make a deep cross on each bun with a knife. Leave them to rise once more covering with the oiled plastic for about 25minutes. Preheat oven to 425F Bake the buns for about 15 mins. (ALthough the recipe states 425F I found the buns were cooking to quickly so I reduced the temp to 380F)
For the glaze
While they are cooking melt sugar and water over a gentle heat and brush the buns with glaze as soon as they come out of the oven.
*Cross Alternatively, you can make a pastry cross by mixing 1½ oz flour with approximately 1½ tablespoons of water. Mix and roll out very thinly, then cut into strips. Moisten the pastry strips and then add to top of buns to form a cross.
Once cooked put the buns on a cooling tray. While they are still warm brush with the sugar glaze. Serve warm or toast!
I like my Hot Cross Buns toasted and served with jam or butter, how do you prefer yours?
Adapted from one of my favorite Delia Smith recipes