Thursday, April 21, 2011
How to make Aussie Hot Cross Bun
I do not know what a hot cross bun is until I came to Australia to live. Before that, it had never occurred to me, it was referring to the spiced English bun associated with Good Friday known as a Hot Cross Bun. But I can still vaguely remember reciting it in a nursery rhyme. Like many older Singaporeans, we were taught British nursery rhymes in primary school in those days when Singapore was a British colony, but do not know about the significant of this delicious bun.
Although these popular hot cross bun began to appear in major supermarket chains almost at the same time as the post-Christmas sales were in their final discount, offering two items for the price of one to entice their customers to buy their unsold Christmas decorations, cards and puddings, it is not until Good Friday, the traditional day in which Lent ends and the buns are served eaten at Easter but now it seems they are now sold all year round.
Hot cross buns are sweet yeast-leavened bread, made with currants or raisins, often with candied citrus fruits and marked with a cross on the top eaten at Easter time. In Australia, the major supermarkets produce variations on the traditional recipe such as toffee, orange and cranberry, and apple and cinnamon.
The Aussies even have a yummy chocolate version of the bun which has become popular lately. It generally contains the same mixture of spices but chocolate chips are used instead of currants.
Aussie Hot Cross Bun Recipe:
• 4 cups plain flour
• 2 x 7g sachets dried yeast
• 1/4 cup caster sugar
• 1 1/2 teaspoons mixed spice
• pinch of salt
• 1 cup chocolate chips
• 40g butter
• 300ml milk
• 2 eggs, lightly beaten
• Flour paste
• 1/2 cup plain flour
• 4 to 5 tablespoons water
• 1/3 cup water
• 2 tablespoons caster sugar
1. Combine flour, yeast, sugar, mixed spice, salt and chocolate chips in a large bowl. Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add milk. Heat until lukewarm. Add warm milk mixture and eggs to mixture. Mix until dough almost comes together to form soft dough.
2. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead for 10 minutes, or until dough is smooth. Place into a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until dough doubles in size.
3. Line a large baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Punch dough down to its original size. Knead on a lightly floured surface until smooth. Divide into 12 even portions. Shape each portion into a ball. Place balls onto lined tray, about 1cm apart. Cover with plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm place for about 30 minutes or until buns double in size. Preheat oven to 190°C.
4. Make flour paste: Mix flour and water together in a small bowl to form smooth a paste. Spoon into a small piping bag. Pipe flour paste over tops of buns to form crosses. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until buns are cooked through.
5. To make glaze: Pour water and sugar into a small saucepan over low heat. Stir until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil for 5 minutes. Brush warm glaze over warm hot cross buns. Serve warm or at room temperature. These buns are best eaten on the day they are made. Otherwise, freeze for up to a week.