Patrick Ryan from The Firehouse Bakery shares his recipe for authentic hot cross buns.
“Hot cross buns are synonymous with Easter, you will find them everywhere through March and April but if you ask me hot cross buns are something that can be enjoyed all year round. Warm from the oven, toasted and smothered with butter or simply enjoyed with a cup of tea with this recipe you will find yourself making them through Easter and well into the winter months. The secret to this recipe is the use of my all-purpose mincemeat, boozy soaked fruit with that nice balance of spice. Each year I always look to make a little extra mincemeat at Christmas that can be kept until Easter perfect for hot cross buns.”
Makes 12 buns (90g each)
500g strong white flour
50g brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
Zest of 1 orange
1 tsp allspice
10g fresh yeast or 1 tsp dried yeast
50g butter, diced and softened
200g dried fruit (You can use a mix of sultanas, raisins, cranberries and currants — or try mixed peel that has marinated in orange and lemon juice — with some cinnamon and clove. Allow to marinate at least overnight.)
For the hot cross paste:
40g icing sugar
- This dough can be made by hand, however if you have a food mixer feel free to use it using the dough hook attachment.
- Mix together the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of the mixer. Add the vanilla extract, orange zest and allspice to the flour.
- Crumble the yeast into the flour and pour the milk along with the egg into the flour. Begin to mix the dough on a slow medium speed. This is quite a soft, supple dough. If it feels a little wet and sticky don’t panic, just stay with it and be persistent the dough will come together. Avoid the temptation to add extra flour. Continue to mix for 3-4 minutes. As the dough develops, slowly add the diced butter into the dough. Increase the speed of the mixer slightly. Continue to mix until all the butter has been incorporated.
- Add the dried fruit to the dough and gently knead for 1-2 minutes to distribute the fruit. We simply want the fruit to be evenly distributed without having it all broken up. Put the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and leave to prove for about 90 minutes.
- Once the dough has doubled in size, turn the dough out onto a clean work surface and knock back.
- Cut the dough into 12 equal pieces approximately 90g each. Roll each piece of dough round and place on a non-stick baking tray or a tray lined with parchment leaving enough room between to allow each bun to prove and grow without touching. Leave to prove again for 60 minutes or until doubled in size.
- Make up the paste for the crosses by mixing together the flour, sugar and milk in a bowl. The paste needs to be of a piping consistency. Brush each bun with a beaten egg, spoon the paste into a piping bag and pipe a cross on each bun.
- Bake the buns at 200˚C/180˚C fan/gas mark 6 for 16-18 minutes, until rich golden in colour. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Whilst warm, brush each bun with a simple sugar glaze to add a wonderful shine and finger-licking stickiness to each. To make the sugar glaze, bring 100ml of water and 100g of caster sugar to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for five minutes.
Recipe courtesy of Patrick Ryan
The Firehouse Bakery
Delgany, Co. Wicklow & Wicklow Town