Food & Drink Magazine

An Easter Delight ~ Pull-Apart Hot Cross Buns with Apricot Glaze

By Weavethousandflavors

Loaded Hot Cross Buns - 01 
Did you grow up on the Nursery Rhyme? I did!

Hot-cross Buns!

Hot-cross Buns!

One a penny, two a penny, 

Hot-cross Buns!

Hot-cross Buns!

If ye have no daughters,

Give them to your sons

I can't help it!

Every year that I bake these I have the words jingling in my head. And it's nice to associate warm and fuzzy memories with food especially when the memory come wrapped up in a nice frolicky tune.

This made all the more made special  when the food itself happens to be loaves of spiced bread crusted with delicious dry fruits such as dried cranberries and golden raisins all nestled in a hint of sweetness. These are traditionally eaten at Easter with the cross on top representing the crucification of Christ.

But did you also know that there are all kinds of superstitions surrounding hot cross buns?

According to English folklore, the buns baked and served on Good Friday will not spoil or become mouldy during the subsequent year. Another encourages keeping such a bun for medicinal purposes.

Sharing a hot cross bun with another is supposed to ensure friendship throughout the coming year, particularly if "Half for you and half for me, Between us two shall goodwill be" is said at the time.

True or not, what a sweet thought! So make some this week and I hope you share it with your loved ones for a year of goodwill that will be! 

Loaded Hot Cross Buns - Ingredients

Loaded Hot Cross Buns - Proof yeast
 

Gather the ingredients - packets active dried yeast, milk, white sugar, all-purpose flour, eggs, dried sweetened cranberries (craisins), golden raisins or sultanas, diced candied orange peel (store-bought), unsalted butter, vegetable oil for greasing bowl,  Spices - ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, ground all spice, ground cloves, ground mace, ground ginger (dried), salt.

For the crosses and glaze:  all-purpose flour, baking powder, water Apricot preserves

Remove the butter fro the refrigerator and set aside. In a microwave safe bowl or pyrex cup, warm cold milk for about a minute till warmed up.

Add the sugar and empty out both yeast packets into the milk. With a spoon or a small whisk stir the yeast, milk and sugar for a few seconds till thoroughly combined. Set aside for 10 minutes till yeast is all frothy on the top of the container.

Cook's Note - If the yeast is not frothy then discard and start over with  newly purchased yeast packets because the yeast used is old and quite dead. Yes, this might warrant a store run.

Loaded Hot Cross Buns -Sift flour
 
Loaded Hot Cross Buns -Sift flour & spices

Use a very large mixing bowl or a paraat as I am using. And using a sieve, measure 3 cups of flour into the sieve. Sift through and add the last cup of flour in the sieve along with plain flour with the spices and the salt. Sift again.

Loaded Hot Cross Buns - Add butter to flour

Loaded Hot Cross Buns - Add ingredients to flour
 

Cut the butter into 1 tbs chunks. Use your fingertips to rub in butter. Rub the butter through the flour with clean fingers for about 3 minutes till the flour develops a crumbly texture and no butter chunks remain.

In a bowl, beat the eggs with a fork, discarding the shells.

In another bowl, measure and combine the cranberries, golden raisins and candied orange peels.

Add the dried fruit mixture, eggs and yeast mixture.

Loaded Hot Cross Buns - Knead dough

Loaded Hot Cross Buns -Place dough in greased bowl
 

With clean hands, turn dough over and over and knead for a solid 5 mins. The dough is one goopy mess but do not add any additonal flour.

Cook's Note - Use the timer because right at around 5 minutes, the dough will turn less sticky and form somewhat of a ball.

Grease a large bowl with vegetable oil and a pastry brush. Add the dough ball and cover with a wet damp cotton cloth. PS - Old time cotton handkerchief's work best as my husband finds his stock receding!

Loaded Hot Cross Buns - Risen dough

 

Loaded Hot Cross Buns - Punch down dough

Punch the swollen dough ball down. Knead for a few seconds until smooth.

Loaded Hot Cross Buns - Divide dough

Loaded Hot Cross Buns - 12 dough balls
 

Line a 9 x 13 inch metal baking dish with parchment paper at the bottom. Grease the sides with a pastry brush dipped in vegetable oil

Use a kitchen scale and divide into 4 somewhat equal balls. Divide each of these further into 3 balls each. Shape a total of 12 dough balls.

Place the dough balls into greased baking tray. Set aside 20 minutes in a warm place like the inside of a microwave.

Preheat oven to 400 deg F.

Loaded Hot Cross Buns - Dough paste
 
Loaded Hot Cross Buns - Piping for the dough balls
 
 
Meanwhile, Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and water in a bowl. Stir to mix

Once the dough balls have risen, empty the flour mixture into the corner of a plastic baggy like a zip loc bag. 

Loaded Hot Cross Buns - Risen dough balls

Loaded Hot Cross Buns - Piping the dough balls
 

Squeeze the contents in the bag toward one corner.  Snip the corner of the bag and pipe crosses onto the buns.

Loaded Hot Cross Buns - out of the oven buns
 
Bake the risen dough balls for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 deg F and bake for a further 15 minutes.

Loaded Hot Cross Buns - Apricot glaze

 

Loaded Hot Cross Buns - Glaze the hot cross buns

Meanwhile microwave the apricot preserves in a microwave safe bowl for about 45 seconds.

Loaded Hot Cross Buns - Glazed buns
 

While the buns are still warm, using a pastry brush liberally apply the apricot preserves all over the buns thoroughly coating all the nooks and crannies.

 

Loaded Hot Cross Buns - 02

Pull buns apart and serve immediately!

I guarantee you will be swooning over these looong before these come out of the oven. The scents wafting through the kitchen from the spices and the fragrance of freshly baking bread is absolutely mouthwatering.

And then once these darlings are glazed and served with pats of butter, you'll take your first bite and you'll fall in love. Fair Warning - You may not want to share your half, friendhip and goodwill be damned!

Recipe for

Loaded Hot Cross Buns with Apricot Glaze

Preparation time - 20 minutes

Bread rising time - 1-/2 to 2 hours

Baking time- 30 minutes

Makes 12 buns

Shopping list

2 packets active dried yeast

1- 1/4 cups milk

1/4 cup white sugar

4 cups all-purpose flour

2 eggs

1 cup dried sweetened cranberries (craisins)

1 cup golden raisins or sultanas

1/4 cup diced candied orange peel (store-bought)

5 tbs unsalted butter

1 tbs vegetable oil for greasing bowl

Spices-

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground nutmeg

1 tsp ground all spice

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1/2 tsp ground mace

1/2 tsp ground ginger (dried)

1 tsp salt

Crosses -

1/3 cup all-purpose flour 

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 cup water

1/3 cup Apricot preserves, warmed for brushing

Method - 

Remove the butter fro the refrigerator and set aside. In a microwave safe bowl or pyrex cup, warm cold milk for about a minute till warmed up.

Add the sugar and empty out both yeast packets into the milk.

With a spoon or a small whisk stir the yeast, milk and sugar for a few seconds till thoroughly combined. Set aside for 10 minutes till yeast is all frothy on the top of the container.

Cook's Note - If the yeast is not frothy then discard and start over with  newly purchased yeast packets because the yeast used is old and quite dead. Yes, this might warrant a store run.

Use a very large mixing bowl or a paraat as I am using. And using a sieve, measure 3 cups of flour into the sieve. Sift through and add the last cup of flour in the sieve along with plain flour with the spices and the salt. Sift again.

Cut the butter into 1 tbs chunks. Use your fingertips to rub in butter. Rub the butter through the flour with clean fingers for about 3 minutes till the flour develops a crumbly texture and no butter chunks remain.

In a bowl, beat the eggs with a fork, discarding the shells.

In another bowl, measure and combine the cranberries, golden raisins and candied orange peels.

Add the dried fruit mixture, eggs and yeast mixture.

With clean hands, turn dough over and over and knead for a solid 5 mins. The dough is one goopy mess but do not add any additonal flour.

Cook's Note - Use the timer because right at around 5 minutes, the dough will turn less sticky and form somewhat of a ball.

Grease a large bowl with vegetable oil and a pastry brush. Add the dough ball and cover with a wet damp cotton cloth. PS - Old time handkerchief's work best as my husband finds his stock receding!

Leave the dough in a warm spot to rise for about 1-1/2 to 2 hours - the inside of the microwave is a good place for this.

Punch the swollen dough ball down. Knead for a few seconds until smooth.

Line a 9 x 13 inch metal baking dish with parchment paper at the bottom. Grease the sides with a pastry brush dipped in vegetable oil

Use a kitchen scale and divide into 4 somewhat equal balls. Divide each of these further into 3 balls each. Shape a total of 12 dough balls.

Place the dough balls into greased baking tray. Set aside 20 minutes in a warm place like the inside of a microwave.

Preheat oven to 400 deg F.

Meanwhile, Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and water in a bowl. Stir to mix

Once the dough balls have risen, empty the flour mixture into the corner of a plastic baggy like a zip loc bag. 

Squeeze the contents in the bag toward one corner.  Snip the corner of the bag and pipe crosses onto the buns.

Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 deg F and bake for a further 15 minutes.

Meanwhile microwave the apricot preserves in a microwave safe bowl for about 45 seconds.

While the buns are still warm, using a pastry brush liberally apply the apricot preserves all over the buns thoroughly coating all the nooks and crannies.

Pull buns apart and serve immediately or at least warm with hot cups of tea or coffee!

Enjoy!

 


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