How to make Hot Cross buns
PUBLISHED: 09:08 19 February 2016 | UPDATED: 09:08 19 February 2016
Andy McLeish chef-patron of Kent Life's winner of Restaurant of the Year 2015, Chapter One, is looking forward to Easter baking
For most, Easter is that time of year when we overindulge in eating way too much chocolate. It’s every child’s dream… and their parent’s nightmare! Kids are given copious amounts of chocolate eggs and bunnies – all impossible to consume in a day. In the past we’ve had Easter chocolate in our pantry months later and of course, my wife and I never heard the end of it, with each day a new request from our children wanting to eat their chocolate eggs.
I actually enjoy the Easter weekend and since our kids have been small we’ve organised an Egg Hunt in our backyard. In the morning we paint the eggs and weather permitting, I hide them in random places in the garden. It’s now become a family tradition and the kids really look forward to it.
As I don’t want my children eating too much chocolate I make a conscious effort to prepare various tasty alternatives for them to enjoy. Don’t get me wrong I don’t mind the odd one or two (or three when persuaded), but it’s all about balance isn’t it?
There are many healthy alternatives that can be made fun and I promise you your children will love it (almost) as much as chocolate. Over the Easter bank holiday weekend I’ll be in the kitchen with my kids making some of their favourites: breakfast banana and mango smoothie, home-made crunchy cereal with Greek yoghurt and sticky marinaded chicken wings.
A special treat will be Hot Cross Buns, which is this month’s recipe. I couldn’t get through the weekend without making those for the family; I think it’s on the same par as chocolate in my children’s eyes. It’s pretty simple to make and tastes much better home made than the shop bought ones.
What will you be cooking for your family over the bank holiday weekend? Why not tweet me @andy23471 and share photos of your dishes; I promise to retweet as many as I can.
Hot Cross Buns
1 teaspoon sugar
10g easy bake yeast
500g strong white bread-making ﬂour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
40g chopped mixed peel
For the crosses
40g vegetable oil
75g plain ﬂour
For the glaze
Heat the milk until just below boiling. Stir in the ﬁrst measure of butter and sugar until it melts. Set aside until it is lukewarm. Then sprinkle the yeast over and leave it for 15 mins or until it is frothy.
Sift 500g of ﬂour, salt, cinnamon, mixed spice and nutmeg into a bowl and stir in the second measure of sugar. Make a well in the centre and pour the yeast mixture in. Beat to a soft dough; add a little more ﬂour if the dough is sticky. Mix in the currents, sultanas and mixed peel.
Turn out onto a lightly ﬂoured board and kneed until smooth and elastic. Lightly brush the bowl with oil and place the dough in the bowl, brush the top of the dough with oil, cover and leave in a warm place until it has doubled in size.
Kneed the dough lightly. Divide the dough into 16 even-sized pieces and shape into balls. Place the balls on a greased and ﬂoured tray leaving space between each piece. Leave in a warm place until the balls have doubled in size.
Make the wet paste for the crosses by mixing 75g ﬂour with the rest of the ingredients until smooth. Place the mix in a piping bag and pipe crosses on each bun.
To bake, pre-heat the oven to 220 degrees and put a baking tray at the bottom of the oven. Fill a cup with water and set aside. Place the tray of buns in the oven and pour the cup of water in the tray at that’s at the bottom of the oven.
Close the door and immediately reduce the heat to 180 degrees. Bake for 10 mins until golden brown.
Remove from the oven and brush with the sugar and water glaze. Place on a cooling rack and leave to cool.