Friday, 25 March 2016

Apple juice and butter milk hot cross buns

I’ve mentioned my family’s competitive spirit and our Good Friday hot cross bun bake off in previous years and have blogged about my tropical and my no added sugar hot cross buns. This year I’m staying on the Emerald Isle for the Easter weekend and not heading home to join the family for all of the food based celebrations but this won’t stop me baking this seasonal treat and competing with myself!! In fact this year the thought of eating my body weight in hot cross buns motivated me through a 10 mile run this morning….I’m definitely entitled to eat at least 2 now, maybe 3!

So I wanted to try a slightly different recipe and turned to one of my favourite bakers Dan Lepard. This recipe was originally posted in the Guardian and you can find the original here. In this recipe cider is used as one of the main liquids but I replaced this with apple juice (an oversight when out shopping and missing the alcohol aisle!!). I then went on to make a couple of further replacements including using buttermilk instead of cream and spelt flour instead of wholemeal but the result was delicious and I think if I had been at home I would have trounced the competition!!

Makes 12

150ml apple juice
7g fast-action yeast
75g spelt flour
150ml buttermilk
2tsp mixed spice
1tsp ground ginger
1tsp cinnamon
2 eggs
50g honey
300g mixed dried fruit
400g white flour
25g cornflour
1 tsp salt

 150g plain flour
50ml sunflower oil
125ml water

 25ml water
25ml sugar
1/2tsp mixed spice

 Makes 12

Mix the apple juice (which you want to be at room temperature), yeast and spelt flour in a bowl and set aside. Then place the buttermilk, spices, eggs and honey into a saucepan and place over a low heat, stirring until just warmed. Add the warm buttermilk mixture to the yeast mixture, add the dried fruit and stir until well combined.

Add the flour, cornflour and salt to a large mixing bowl, make a well in the centre and pour in the yeast mixture. Stir together to form quite a sticky dough and set aside for 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes oil a work surface, tip the dough out and knead for about a minute (Dan reckons you only need to knead this for 10 seconds but I normally stretch it to a minute!). Then return the mixture to the bowl, cover with a clean cloth and set aside for an hour until the dough has risen. Then divide the mixture into 12 pieces, shape into balls and put them onto a baking tray lined with non-stick paper. 
Again cover with a cloth and leave to double in size, which should take between 1 and 2 hours (or the time it takes me to run 10 miles!!!)

Finally pre-heat the oven to 220°C/425°F/GM7.

Mix the flour, oil and water for the crosses together and either transfer to a piping bag, or a sandwich bag and then cut the corner of the bag off and then pipe crosses onto the buns before transferring to the oven. Bake for 15-18 minutes until golden in colour.

While the buns are in the oven put the water, sugar and spice into a small saucepan and gently heat until the sugar has melted. When you remove the bins from the oven baste the buns with the sugar syrup and then allow to cool a little before consuming 1 or 2…or 3!!