I make a batch of Donna Hay’s hot cross buns every Easter and when eaten fresh from the oven they are heaven on Earth. Like many baked goods they are best the day they are made. You can pop them under the griller after a day or two [if they last that long!].
Donna Hay suggests an option of adding candied peel which I declined – as I am not a fan.
Because this recipe requires a fair bit of resting time for the dough I suggest doing part of it the night before, so when you wake in the morning you can quickly finish off the recipe and have these hot beauties on the table in no time.
2 tablespoons dried yeast [this should equate to two sachets]
¼ cup caster sugar
1½ cups warm milk [not too hot or it will kill the yeast]
4¼ cups plain flour
2 teaspoons mixed spice
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
50g butter, melted
¼ cup caster sugar, extra
1½ cups sultanas
½ cup plain flour
⅓ cup water
glaze: equal quantities of orange juice and water.
Let’s get to it:
Please yeast, 2 tablespoons of the sugar and all the milk in a large bowl and set aside for 5 minutes until the mixture starts to foam.
Add flour, mixed spice, cinnamon, butter, egg, sultanas and remaining sugar to the yeast mix and stir using a butter knife until a sticky dough forms.
Knead on a floured surface for 8 minutes [I cheated and mixed mine using the dough hook on my KitchenAid].
Place in an oiled bowl and cover with a clean tea towel and stand in a warm place for an hour until doubled in size.
You can do all of the above the night before if you like.
Divide the dough into 12 pieces and roll into balls.
Grease a 23cm square cake tin and line with non-stick paper. Place dough balls into tin, cover with a clean tea towel and leave in a warm place for half an hour or until they rise.
Preheat oven to 200C, then combine extra flour and water in a bowl and stir until no lumps remain. Place in a ziplock bag with a corner snipped of and pipe on crosses [mine are super messy!]
Bake for 30-ish minutes, until springy to the touch.
Warm the orange juice and water glaze in a jug and brush on with pastry brush and serve the buns warm with butter.