Happy Easter! (I know, I'm super early but I got spurred on by a friend and had a sudden craving for the buns and also I'd thought Easter was early April ..... duh)
Sharing a hot cross bun with another is supposed to ensure friendship throughout the coming year.
I'm not going to share just ONE hot cross bun with you, my dear readers and friends, but a whole recipe! That's one big bun! ... or a whole lot of little ones .... 16 to be exact. Now, our friendship is ensured for many years to come! Yay!
So many recipes with so many variations .... makes my head spin. So, I've decided to tweak my usual bread recipe, add the traditional spices and fruits to it ... tadaaa!!
The crosses on the top (which supposedly signifies the four quarters of the moon or the four seasons) can be made using a variety of methods: Flour and water, sugar and water (icing), some with a little powdered gelatin to make it gooey. I opted for a simple icing made with orange juice since I had added orange rind to the buns ... just to keep within the theme of things, y'know.
Out comes my trusty bread machine to do the kneading for me.
2 eggs plus enough water to get 1 1/3 cups
4 ozs / 1 stick butter (melted, I just zapped mine in the microwave)
4 cups bread flour
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tbs sugar
1 1/2 tsp quick active yeast
1 cup dried currants
1/2 tbs orange zest
1 egg yolk
1 tbs cold water
1/2 cup icing sugar
1/4 tbs orange juice
a drop or 2 orange oil
Plonk dough ingredients in your bread machine in the order they are listed except for the currants and the zest, which are to be added 10 mins before the final kneading cycle ends.
Use dough/manual cycle. This should include the first rising.
Punch down and remove dough from bread machine pan.
With floured hands, knead a little to remove the air bubbles.
Divide the dough into 16 equal pieces, shape into balls and place on oiled baking tray. You can also put them in muffin tins, which I did for some of mine, except they turned out looking like muffins instead of a roll/bun.
Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 45 mins - 1 hour or until doubled in size. Brush with egg wash and bake in a 180ºC oven for about 20 mins.
Cover the top with aluminum foil after 15 mins into the baking to prevent over-browning.
Cool and pipe orange icing over the top.
PS: It's good toasted too but leave out the icing if you intend to do that.