These hot cross buns are extremely soft and fluffy, so airy and are filled with juicy plump raisins with a beautiful aroma of spices. You will start by preparing the dough, into a large bowl, add in flour, salt, sugar, cinnamon powder and ground all spices. Also, add in instant yeast and zest of an orange they whisk everything together so all ingredients are well distributed in the flour then set aside. For the wet ingredients, add warm milk into a bowl, the milk should not be hot or cold, just slightly warm.
Add in one egg them whisk them together and then add vanilla extract and soft unsalted butter then is very easy to blend, you can also use melted butter. Start adding the dry ingredients to top the wet ingredients in batches and using a spatula or wooden spoon, bring everything together slowly. Once the dough comes together, transfer it to a floured surface and knead the dough, if you are using a stand mixer, the dough will be ready in about 5 minutes into the mixer.
For the hand kneading, stretch the dough with the heel of your palm and repeat the process until the dough comes together perfectly. The dough should be soft and elastic and this process ill take around 10 to 12 minutes. Lightly oil a clean bowl and place the dough inside it them let it prove in a warm environment for around 2 hours or until it doubles in size. Meanwhile, soak the raisins in hot water for 15 to 20 minutes then drain and pat dry them, they will be soft and floppy.
Once the dough has risen well transfer it to a lightly floured strafe and incorporate the juicy raisins by placing them on the dough then coat them into the dough as if you are kneading the dough again. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces and each should be about 62 grams, to shape the dough, tuck in the edges of the dough towards the center and roll each piece of dough into a ball then place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet or a non-stick baking tray.
Cover the dough with plastic film them let them proof for 45 minutes or until they double in size. Meanwhile, prepare the paste for making the cross on buns, into a bowl, add flour and water then mix them together, the consistency should not be too runny then transfer it to a piping bag.
After your buns have risen, pipe the cross on the buns then bake in 375 degrees Fahrenheit oven for 10 minutes and then reduce the temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for another 12 to 15 minutes. Once out of the oven, brush the top with sugar syrup or light apricot jam.
- All-purpose flour:325 g (2 and 1/2 cup)
- Whole milk:150 ml (1/2 cup +2 tbsp)
- Granulated sugar:50g or 1/4 cup
- Instant yeast: 2 tsp
- Cinnamon Powder:1/2 tsp
- Ground All spices:1/2 tsp
- Salt:3/4 tsp
- Unsalted butter:42.5 g or 3 tbsp
- Raisins: 3/4 cup or 125 g
- Vanilla extract:1 tsp
- Zest of half of an orange.
For the cross;
- Flour:1/2 cup
- Water:1/2 cup -2 tbsp
- 2 tablespoons apricot jam
- 1 tablespoon warm water
- Into a bowl, add in all the dry ingredients; flour, salt, yeast, spice powder, and sugar. Whisk them together, so that everything is evenly distributed in the flour.
- In another bowl, add the milk, egg and softened unsalted butter then combine the wet and dry ingredients using the rear of a wooden spoon.
- Transfer the dough onto a clean work surface and knead the dough until we get a smooth dough. If you are using a stand mixer then it will be so much easier for you to knead the dough. Use the dough hook attachment and start kneading at low speed and then increase the speed.
- Let the dough sit and rise. In about 1 hour, the dough will get doubled in size. This rising time may vary according to the warmth of the place where the bowl is placed. Degas the dough and then add in the raisins or currants or any other dried fruits into the dough.
- Mix them together so that the dry fruits get distributed evenly then divide the dough into 12 equal pieces.
- Let the rolls sit and proof for 45-60 minutes or until they get doubled in size.
- Meanwhile, mix together flour and water until wet paste forms. Transfer runny mixture to a piping bag with a small round tip or a small zip-top plastic bag with a corner snipped off.
- Pipe straight lines vertically and horizontally across risen buns to create crosses. Bake the buns at 375 F preheated oven for 10 minutes and then reduce the temperature to 350 F and continue baking for the next 12-15 minutes.
- Remove the rolls from the oven and brush the tops with light apricot jam or sugar syrup.