Hot Cross Buns are a seasonal yeast bread traditionally served on Good Friday. These are sweet buns spiced with ground cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves, filled with currants (raisins).What makes them instantly recognizable is that the tops of the bun are marked with a 'cross' which symbolically represents the Cross of Christ and the Crucifixion.
I love doing seasonal bakes and I do try my hand, especially with baking recipes since I love to bake. The past year has been a whirl wind with me since I have tried tons of baking recipes and mind you I do get questions if I have kitchen flops, yes I do. Its been only a year since I have self-learnt to bake, I do read a lot, explore, do trial and errors, but mostly enjoy this new found love to baking bread.
Since Easter was around the corner thought I will bake something special and ended up with the idea of Hot Cross Buns. Most recipes I saw used plain flour, butter and eggs. I wanted to make my own twists, took a fool-proof recipe, tried a different baking method (using roux) and made my own alterations (using whole-wheat, olive oil) . To my surprise the buns turned out fabulous and this sure was a super baking success.
The Tang Zhong method (also known as water roux method) was introduced by Japanese author, Yvonne Chen. A method basically using a slightly warm water roux (a combination of water and bread flour) which helps generate a light and tender loaf of bread.
Prep time ~ 20 mins
Proof time ~ 2 hours
Bake time ~ 10 mins
Makes ~ 10 medium sized buns
1/2 cup milk or as needed
1 package/ 7 gms active dry yeast
4 cups wheat flour/ atta, extra to knead
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup currants/raisins
1/3 cup currants/raisins
1/4 cup olive oil
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 egg white/ butter (brush on top)
1 cup milk / 50-50 milk and water
1/3 cup plain flour
1/2 cup confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar
1 tablespoon milk or cream
- In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients -> flour, sugar, spices, salt, sugar, raisins, yeast mix and cooled roux combine together.
- In another bowl add olive oil and egg, beat until incorporated.
- Now combine the oil+egg mixture to the dry ingredients and knead to form a pitable dough, gradually adding milk little by little.
- Take the dough to a floured surface and stand kneading it well for around 6-7 minutes.
- Grease the large bowl and transfer the dough to it, flip side such that the top of dough is well greased. Cover with a damp cloth/ cling film and keep in a warm place, I usually keep it in my microwave/oven with the door shut. Wait for the dough to double in size, it took me around 1.5 hrs
- Prepare a baking tray with parchment/ grease the tray with oil and set aside. Take out of the warm place and again knead it in a floured surface for 5-6 minutes and start forming balls
- Divide into 10 small- medium sized balls and place in prepared tray. Beat the egg white in a small ball and do an egg wash on top of the dough. Using a clean kitchen scissors cut a cross on the dough.
- Again cover the tray with a damp cloth/ cling film and keep in a warm place, until it double/ expands again
- 10 mins prior to baking pre-heat the oven to 395 F/200 C and place the baking tray in the center of the oven, bake for 10 mins until a skewer inserted in the center comes clean
- Once done take the tray out and let it cool down on tray for 5 mins then transfer to a wire rack to cool down completely.
For the Glaze
- In a small bowl add the icing sugar and add vanilla extract and 1 tsp of milk/cream at a time and mix well until it is not too thick or not to thin.
- Pour the glace to a piping bag/ zip lock and cut a whole and with a guide of the cut cross on the buns ice them. Let it stand for 10 mins to set undisturbed.
Serve in a basket with warm drinks. Happy Easter to all :-) God Bless You
- Glaze - If you don't have icing sugar powder granulated white sugar along with cornflour (1 cup regular sugar + 1 tbsp cornflour), add milk/ cream as required to form glaze, You can also add lemon zest/ orange zest too
- I made the roux in APF - All purpose flour/ Maida. I am not sure if it can be done in wholewheat too
- You can also add vanilla extract/ rum extract 1-2 tsp in the dough if you want to have a strong burst of flavor
As Christians we remember the death & resurrection of our Lord Christ Jesus just as His birth which is Christmas.
The meaning & truth behind Good Friday and the reason it is called "Good" is because the death of Jesus fulfills His purpose & plans of the Heavenly Father. Jesus bore all our sins when He hung on the cross for all our trespasses. We meditate and call it a Good Friday because we are saved by the act of Jesus, forgiveness of sins & that we have a new life in Him (born again).
Easter is the 3'rd day, the day that Jesus was resurrected to life (came back to life). The true meaning of easter had nothing to do with chickens, eggs, bunnies or anything that the world chooses to do that day. Easter is a time to rejoice since the promise of God has been fulfilled & JESUS has conquered death and He lives forevermore. This gives us a hope that we will also meet Him one day & be resurrected to life.
Jesus said to her,
"I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die"
HAPPY GOOD FRIDAY