Hot Cross Buns... at Christmas

Published December 5, 2012

Naturally, as we are heading rapidly towards the festive season, where mince pies and yule logs and turkeys are the order of the day, I decided to bake some Hot Cross Buns. It had been in the back of my mind a while ago, and then when I made the chocolate chip cookies, I remembered I had dried mixed fruit that needed using up.

So, I waited until the end of the F1 season so I’d have a free weekend. All that kneading and waiting and kneading and waiting does my head in and I wanted a clear day for stress free baking. It was all going well until I put it aside to rise for the first time. It didn’t rise. Well, maybe a centimetre. I moved it about, I left it in front of the heater, I did all I could and it did nothing. I kneaded it some more and left it again. Still nothing.

I was disappointed, but knew in my head the reasons it could be - not enough yeast, the milk was too cold, not enough heat. I was prepared to ditch the dough and try again another weekend. But Mr C said to just leave it in the bowl overnight and see what happened. It couldn’t hurt.

In the morning, we had a rise! I prepped the buns, baked, piped and glazed, and I had some hot cross buns… all through just having a little bit of patience.

Hot cross buns

This is my own version of a baker’s dozen. Instead of having twelve and adding one, I had twelve and took one away. There are eleven in the photograph because the other one I was eating.

As ever, my presentation could do with a lot of work. I was impressed with the crosses though - they always seemed a really complicated thing, but it’s not at all! The sticky syrup glaze on top adds quite a lot to the flavour but really is quite sticky, I’m not sure I’m a fan of that.

But otherwise, they’re just, as Mr C put it: “Yea, normal.” Which I think is high praise indeed!

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