Bizzy Lizzy's Good Things Hot Cross Buns

15 Apr, 2014

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Good Friday might be a relaxed kind of day at my place, just short of a pyjama day. There's a bike ride around Yerrabi Pond on the agenda, for sure, but first I'll warm up the kitchen and prepare the dough to make hot cross buns. While I'm getting some fresh air and exercise, the dough will rise nicely, and if I time it right the buns will be baked in time for brunch!

With just a little time and effort you too can fill your home with the luscious aroma of freshly baked hot cross buns this Easter. These step by step instructions will lead you to light and spicy, melt-in-the-mouth buns that'll never last long enough to grow cold.

HOT CROSS EASTER BUNS

5 cups plain flour
1 scant teaspoon salt
3 scant tablespoons vanilla infused caster sugar
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
14g dried yeast
1 cup mixed dried fruit: raisins, sultanas and citrus peel
300ml lukewarm milk
2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter 1 egg, lightly whisked

For the crosses:
a paste of flour, water and sugar OR
a small piece of shortcrust pastry cut into thin strips 

For the glaze:
1/2 cup maple syrup, warmed 
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon 

Combine the dry ingredients in the bowl of a kitchen mixer and make a small well in the centre. Whisk together the milk, melted butter and egg. Add to the dry ingredients and using the dough hook attachment, mix to a soft dough. Knead for two minutes. Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and place in a warm place, free from draughts, for an hour or so until the dough has doubled in size. (This is the time to go for a walk or bike round around Yerrabi). 

Punch down the dough and place it onto a lightly floured bench, knead it into shape. With a sharp knife, cut the dough into 16 portions and roll each one into a neat ball-shaped buns. Place the buns onto a baking sheet lined with baking paper, cover with a clean tea towel and leave in a warm spot for a further 20-30 minutes until the buns have doubled in size. 

Place or pipe the crosses over the top of the buns and bake in a preheated oven at 200 degrees C for 20 minutes until they are golden brown and sound hollow when gently tapped. Brush with warmed maple syrup cinnamon glaze and serve immediately. Makes 16, which is plenty for you and your neighbours!

Liz Posmyk is an award winning food writer and cooking enthusiast. She was born in Canberra in 1958 and lives in Harrison with her partner. Liz earned the nickname 'Bizzy Lizzy' when she juggled the role of promotions manager of the Belconnen Markets with co-ownership of a leading cooking school. Across a decade she managed a program of events that welcomed some of the world’s leading cookery writers and celebrity chefs to Canberra. Having recently retired from the Australian Public Service, Liz is now cooking to her heart's content and shares her recipes on her web site and blog Good Things www.bizzylizzysgoodthings.com/

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