I started by gathering all my supplies according to the recipe: 50 mL warmed milk and 150 mL warmed water, 50 g sugar, 50 g melted butter, 450 g all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon table salt, 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice, 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves, 1 large egg (beaten), 75 g dried currants, 50 g candied citron peel, and 1 tablespoon instant yeast (about two envelopes).
I mixed the dry ingredients together (flour, sugar, salt, spices, currants, peel, and instant yeast) until everything was evenly distributed.
As per Delia's instructions, I made a well in the dry ingredients and poured in all the wet. (I've often been suspicious of the "well" - as soon as you start to mix, everything gets wet, so why bother with the well?)
I mixed it into a dough with a wooden spoon.
Then I kneaded it with my hands until smooth and elastic. I put it back into a large bowl and covered with plastic to rise.
While the dough was rising I fashioned the (optional) material for the cross. Delia's website simply says, "If you want to make more distinctive crosses, use a flour-and-water paste made with 4 oz (110 g) plain flour and approximately 3 tablespoons water. Roll out thinly and divide into small strips, dampening them to seal." So, I measured out 110 g all-purpose flour and 3 Tbs. water.
I mixed the flour and water together and worked it until the water was evenly distributed and dough that I could roll out was formed.
I rolled out the dough to a 1/8-in. thickness.
I trimmed off the edges to form a rectangle of dough.
Using a sharp knife, I cut the dough into thin strips. These strips will be used in pairs to form a cross on top of the bun. In the United States, a milk and sugar frosting is often used instead - but I wanted to stick with a more British recipe. I covered the strips with a piece of plastic wrap to keep them from drying out.
After an hour, the dough for the hot cross buns had doubled in volume - a good sign.
I kneaded the dough to deflate it and then cut it into twelve pieces.
I the rolled the pieces into balls and evenly spaced them on a half sheet pan. I cut crosses into the top of each bun and covered them with plastic wrap to allow them to rise again.
I started preheating the oven to 425°F (220°C). After about thirty minutes, they had risen again.
I then laid the strips over the deep furrows in the buns and trimmed the ends with shears.
At this point, I started wondering about the recipe a little. These strips of flour and water didn't seem too appetizing. Maybe if they contained butter or shortening like pastry dough. . . but in their current state, wouldn't it bake up dense and hard? Also, the picture on Delia's website showed a nice dark brown bun with a golden cross on top. How was it possible to produce that brown without glazing the buns with milk, egg wash, or a sugar glaze? I plunged along - following the recipe. No glaze, no wash, just slipped it into the oven.
Fifteen minutes later, I pulled them out of the oven and got this.
The crosses were as hard as twigs and the color of the buns was, as I expected, not at all similar to the picture on the website.
I decided to pull off the crosses (they are optional after all) so Tina wouldn't break a tooth while tasting the buns. I then dissolved 2 tablespoons (25 g) sugar into 2 tablespoons (30 mL) hot water to form a sticky, simple syrup glaze.}?>
Delia Smith's Hot Cross Buns (makes 12 buns)
|Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C)|
|3-1/4 cup (450 g) all-purpose flour||mix||mix||knead into smooth surfaced dough||cover and let rise until doubled (1 hr.)||split and roll into twelve balls||cut crosses into each ball||cover and let rise 30 min.||bake 425°F (220°C) 15 min.||brush on glaze|
|1/4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar|
|1 Tbs. (18 g) table salt|
|1/4 tsp. (0.6 g) ground cinnamon|
|1/4 tsp. (0.5 g) ground allspice|
|1/4 tsp. (0.5 g) ground cloves|
|1/4 tsp. (0.6 g) ground nutmeg|
|1/2 cup (75 g) dried currants|
|1/3 cup (50 g) chopped candied citrus peel|
|1 Tbs. or approx. 2 packets (12 g) instant yeast|
|1-2/3 fl. oz. (50 mL) whole milk||warm|
|5 fl. oz. (150 mL) water||warm|
|1 large (50 g) egg||beat|
|2 oz. (50 g) butter||melt|
|2 Tbs. (25 g) sugar||dissolve and heat|
|2 Tbs. (30 mL) water|