Let me be frightfully honest, Easter is nothing more than a blatant excuse for me to bake, yet again. And taking on the challenge of baking bread instead of cake did make me fearful at first. To a lot of my readers I may seem like this meticulous patient person who plans and organises her life around a batch of cupcakes.
I actually am the most impatient person. I abhor inefficiency and wastage of time. To me, having to cook isn’t a chore at all, provided it is in a efficient and organised fashion. If I have to scurry around town in search of last minute essentials, I feel like I’m wasting my energy on a losing battle.
This is probably why my pantry is
stocked up overflowing, pretty much all the time.
Back to the buns. I have always associated hot cross buns with Easter. But truth be told, I’ve never actually tasted one, until now.
I’m hooked. The subtle spiciness, burst of citrus, warmth of nutmeg, and the perfect sweetness to bring together these pillowy buns with a cross shaped thicket of frosting. How can anyone not be in love! And despite not using a single drop of alcohol in these buns, the end result dupes you into believing those swollen raisins are cointreau soaked, but alas! All they are guilty of is absorbing all the orange juice, and intensifying its flavour.
Apart from these pretty little buns, the perfect Easter meal for me would be preceded by a good hearty meal starting off with some avocado and fresh mango salad, main course of spinach ricotta stuffed conchigliette, with a side of gluten free zucchini fettuccine. Ending with a batch of these buns, with a citrusy-almond frosting etched into the cross – perfectly sweet and spicy. It reminds me of christmas.
I modified this recipe for the buns, as I found that 100gm per bun was too much, so mine are anywhere from 70-80gm a pop. Here is how I made mine:
Start by preparing all the ingredients. Zest and juice the orange, zest the lime and heat the milk. Measure out the balance ingredients, including the raisins (which I used instead of currants, 1/2 cup instead of 3/4th).
Mix together the sugar, milk, yeast. Add in the juice and flax egg. Add in the flour, zests and spices.
Bring together and knead using the dough hook on your stand mixer or using your hands on a floured surface, for about 10 minutes. Add in the raisins at the very end. The dough should be slightly tacky. Cover and leave to rise for 1-2 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.
When ready to bake, remove the dough from the refrigerator and divide into 12 equal balls of approximately 70-80gm each. Place on parchment lined baking tray, mist with cooking oil, cover and leave to rise for about 1 1/2 hours (until doubled). Preheat oven to 200*c.
Once doubled, score a cross onto each bun with a serrated knife and brush with milk.
Bake till golden, about 18 minutes.
Once out of the oven, glaze with simple syrup. Glaze again.
Once cooled, with a piping bag, fill the crosses with orange juice icing sugar frosting. Store in covered containers to prevent the buns from drying out.
A truly happy easter it is!