Recipe adapted from Ima’s legendary hot cross buns: http://www.radionz.co.nz/collections/recipes/yael-shochat’s-hot-cross-buns
Makes: 9 large buns
For the buns
- 425 Bread flour
- 60g Butter, at room temperature, cubed
- 90g Honey
- 30g Fresh yeast
- 250ml Milk (full fat), heated to 90°F
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 Tbsp Ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp Ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp Ground cloves
- 125g Currants
- 65g Mixed peel
For the pastry cream crosses
- 1 Vanilla bean
- 200ml Milk (full fat)
- 25g Cornflour
- 35g Caster sugar
- 1 Large egg
- 20g Butter
For the sugar syrup
- 50g Caster sugar
- 50ml Water
How to put this together:
- To activate fresh yeast: crumb fresh yeast into a bowl. Mix together 100 ml warm milk + 10g honey, and add to yeast. Mix well with a fork until dissolved. Leave for 10 mins. The mixture should be very frothy. If this doesn’t become frothy, then your yeast is NOT active. Don’t continue. Get a new batch of fresh yeast and start again.
- In a stand mixer bowl, add flour + yeast mixture + remaining warm milk (150 ml) + remaining honey (80g) + butter. Using a paddle beater, mix on low speed until the mixture comes together.
- Change to dough hook, and mix on low speed (Kitchen Aid speed 1) for 10 mins.
- Add salt + cinnamon + nutmeg + cloves. Mix on low for a further 5 mins.
- Transfer dough to an oiled bowl. Roll the dough around a bit so the top is also oiled. Cover with tea towel and leave to rise in a warm spot until doubled in size (1.5 – 2 hrs)
- Once the dough has doubled in size, add currents + mixed peel. Knead with dough hook briefly until the fruits are evenly distributed.
- Divide the dough into 9 portions (about 115g each), forming each dough into a round ball. Place on a lined baking tray.
- Cover with tea towel and leave to rise in a warm spot until doubled in size (1 – 1.5 hrs).
- Make crème pâtissière: In a pot, add milk + vanilla pod and seeds (split pod in half and scrape out the seeds). Bring to boil. Take off heat.
- In a bowl, add cornflour + sugar + egg. Mix well into a paste.
- Pour 1/3 of warm milk into cornflour mix. Mix well & vigorously with a whisk.
- Add the mixture back into the pot with the rest of warm milk. Continue to whisk over medium heat. Keep cooking and whisking until thick.
- Remove from heat and cover with cling film, pressing cling film onto surface of the custard, to prevent a skin forming.
- Make sugar syrup: In a small pot, add sugar + water, bring to boil. Simmer for 1 min. Take off heat.
- Once the dough has doubled in size, preheat oven to 180°C
- Using a sharp knife, slash crosses on the buns.
- Pipe crème pâtissière into the scored lines on the buns.
- Bake for 20-25 mins, until buns are medium brown.
- Allow buns to cool for 5 mins, then brush the tops with sugar syrup