Hot cross buns are one of my guilty pleasures. While some people might moan when they appear in supermarkets too quickly after Christmas, I always welcome their short season and in our family they often become a Friday afternoon teatime treat. But despite the fact I make bread several times a week, I have never considered turning my hand to homemade hot cross buns. Why? Well two reasons really. I can’t shift the mental block I have that sweet dough is trickier than savoury and secondly, the crosses make them look (as ridiculous as it sounds) complicated.
However I’ve recently had my theories about hot cross buns turned on their head after a challenge was issued to me by ao.com to make my own, with the aid of a Panasonic bread maker. In fact so successful has my conversion been that I’ve actually made four batches of buns since the breadmaker arrived a week ago. My mum was so impressed with the results, she made some too!
So how tricky are they actually to make? Well with the breadmaker (and even without) not at all really. Using this recipe, you weigh the ingredients and stick them in the bread pan. The final ingredient, the mixed dry fruit, then goes in the raisin tray on the top. The breadmaker does the hard work on the dough and a couple of hours later you just shape it into eight buns.
But what about the tricky crosses I hear you cry! And the answer is, flour and water in a piping bag, just before you stick them in the oven… that easy!
Even if your lines aren’t straight or are a bit spoldgy the buns still somehow look endearingly rustic and artisan. If you want to see the breadmaker and the process in action I filmed a quick how to which you can see below…