Hot Cross Buns are an Easter staple in the UK, specially for Good Friday, but most of the world is catching on lately. Traditionally, they’re a spiced sweet bun, marked with a ross in top and they mark the end of Lent. The cross represents the crucifixion of Jesus and the spices represent the spices used to embalm him at His burial. Here’s my take on Hot Cross Buns: Banana, cinnamon & white chocolate hot cross buns for the win!
(for 12 buns)
- 500 g Bread Flour
- 7 g Instant Yeast
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 80 g Sugar
- 280 ml Milk
- 50 g Unsalted Butter
- 2 Ripe Bananas Mashed
- 2 Teaspoons Cinnamon
- 150 g White Chocolate, chopped
For the Cross:
- 40g Plain Flour
- 3-4 tablespoons Water
For the Glaze:
2 tablespoons of Apricot Jam, heated and sieved
1. Place the milk and the butter together in a medium saucepan and heat on medium-low while stirring frequently until the butter completely melts and the milk is at body temperature.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, add the flour, sugar, yeast and salt. Make sure you add salt and yeast on opposite sides of the bowl because salt at a high concentration kills the yeast and retards the rise of the dough. Mix until combined. If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can use a regular whisk to combine the different ingredients at this stage.
3. Add in the egg and the milk-butter mixture and start mixing on low until all the flour has been picked up from the sides of the bowl. This should take about 2-3 minutes.
4. Increase the speed of the mixer to the next level and run it for about 6 minutes. If you’re using your hands, I would keep kneading the dough for at least 10 to 15 minutes to develop the gluten. This enriched dough needs to be stretchy. Even if the dough is sticky at the beginning, do not add any additional flour: the longer you knead it, the smoother and stretchier the dough will become.
5. Transfer the dough to a clean bowl. Cover the bowl with clingfilm and leave it to rise in a warm place until it doubles in size. This should take 1 hour, depending on the temperature of your kitchen. If your kitchen feels too cold, you can turn the light of the oven on (while leaving the oven off!) and place the bowl in there.
6. Once the dough has doubled in size, turn it onto a lightly floured surface and knock the air out of it by kneading it for few second.
7. Roll the dough into a large ~ 30 x 40 cm rectangle and spread the mashed bananas on top. Sprinkle cinnamon and white chocoloate to cover the whole rectangle. Then, roll the rectangle into a large sausage and cut into 12 equal pieces.
8. Roll each dough piece with the palm of your hand on a slightly floured surface until you have a smooth ball and place all 12 balls in a tray lined with baking parchment (3 in each row), spacing them enough so that they can rise properly. Cover the tray with clingfilm and let the dough proof for about 30 minutes.
9. Prepare the flour paste by combining flour and water into a thick pipe-able consistency and transfer it into a piping bag. Pipe a line along each row of buns, then repeat in the other direction to create crosses.
10. Bake at 350F (180C) for 25-30 minutes until the buns are golden on the outside
11. Brush the top of the buns with the heated and sieved apricot jam.
12. Enjoy while it’s still warm!