Happy Hour Hot Cross Buns

Happy Hour Hot Cross Buns

What is your favourite part of the Easter break? The chocolate feasting? Long family brunches? For me it’s Hot Cross Buns. These soft buns are packed full of fruit and spices and embody all the nostalgic flavours of Easter. Of course I couldn’t help but add the signature Happy Hour Cakes touch by adding a generous serving of Amaretto, I soaked all the dried fruit over night and then glazed them with an Amaretto sugar glaze to give them a deliciously intense flavour. I eat mine toasted, with a good slathering of salty butter. How do you eat yours?

Here's my take on non vegan/ and dairy free Hot Cross Buns:


INGREDIENTS:

Bun dough:
  • 1 tbsp of dried yeast, active
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 125ml of water, warm
  • 350g of strong white flour
  • 100g of strong wholemeal flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp mixed spice / or any Easter spices you fancy
  • 50g of caster sugar
  • 225g dried fruit of your choice (I used an even mix of dried cherries, mixed peel, dried apricot)
  • 125g of Amaretto to soak the fruit in 
  • 125ml of milk, warm / (v) plant based milk
  • 50g of butter, melted / (v) dairy free butter
  • 1 egg, beaten / (v) 1 tbsp of flaxseeds soaked in 3 tbsp water 
Piped crosses:
  • 4 tbsp of flour, white but unbleached
  • 1 tbsp of caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp of water, cold
Sugar glaze:
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp of Amaretto

METHOD:

  1. Weigh out your dried fruit and soak them in Amaretto overnight ( or your spirit of choice, rum would also be yummy), then drain off the liquid and save it aside for your glaze before you begin to make the dough
  2. Combine the dried yeast and sugar in a bowl, then whisk in the warm water. Cover the bowl with cling film and leave in a warm place for approximately 10-15 minutes, until frothy.
  3. For the dough. Sieve the flour into a large mixing bowl, then mix in salt, sugar, spices, fruit and orange zest (you can use whatever dried fruit and Easter spices you have in your cupboards, ingredients are tricky to get hold of at the moment. I substituted the mixed spice for a blend of ground cardamom, nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger)
  4. Create a well in the middle of the ingredients and use your hands to mix in the frothy yeast mixture. Add the milk, butter and egg / flaxseed mix, then mix well to form a sticky dough
  5. Scatter a little flour over a work surface and place the dough on top. Knead with your hands for 5 minutes or so, until smooth
  6. Grease a bowl with a little oil and add the ball of dough. Top the bowl with cling film and  prove in a warm place for 1 hour, or until doubled in size
  7. Lightly dust a work surface with flour and turn out the dough. Knead gently, then roll into a long sausage-shape. Split into 10 even pieces, using scales for accuracy. Roll each piece of dough into a ball
  8. Arrange the balls on a lined baking tray, spacing out so they are close but not touching. Set aside to until doubled in size for 45 minutes in a warm place
  9. Preheat the oven to 220°C/gas mark 6
  10. For the piped crosses make a paste, mixing together the water, flour and sugar until smooth. Add to a piping bag with a small, plain nozzle
  11. When the buns have finished proving, pipe the crosses horizontally and vertically across the middle of each of the buns
  12. Bake the buns for 20 minutes, until nicely golden and sound hollow when tapped
  13. Meanwhile, make the glaze. Add the sugar and Amaretto to a pan and dissolve over a low heat. Be careful not bring to the boil. As you don’t want to cook the alcohol off too much.  When the buns are baked, remove from them oven and brush over the glaze. Allow to cool on a wire rack before pulling apart and serving

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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