Tivoli Road Bakery Hot Cross Buns

Tivoli Road Bakery Hot Cross Buns

Method

Pour the milk into a saucepan over a medium heat and slowly bring it to a simmer, being careful not to let it boil. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

Place the orange in a medium-sized saucepan and cover well with water. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat slightly and continue to boil for about one hour until a knife goes through it easily. Drain, and when cool enough to handle, quarter the orange and remove any pips. Place it in a blender and blend for a minute or two, until you have a smooth puree. Set aside to cool.

To make the brown sugar glaze, combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan over a low heat. Bring it slowly to the boil, stirring constantly until the sugar has dissolved, and then simmer gently for about 5 minutes to infuse the spices. It will reduce slightly, making a fragrant sticky glaze. Pour it into a container and store it at room temperature.

To start the bun dough, combine 500g flour with the sugar, salt and spices in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, and stir to combine. In a separate bowl, lightly whisk together the milk, orange puree, egg and yeast, and add to the dry ingredients. Mix until the dough is smooth and strong, and comes away easily from the sides of the bowl. With the mixer still running, incorporate the butter and sourdough dough, if using, a little at a time. Mix for 2-3 minutes until the dough is firm and shiny – you should be able to stretch it very thin without it breaking. If you find that it breaks easily, mix for a few more minutes to continue working the gluten in the flour, and then test it again. If you are mixing by hand this will take a good 15 minutes of kneading.

Drain the fruit and sprinkle the remaining 50g of baker’s flour over it. Add the fruit and the mixed peel to the dough in three increments, and mix for 2-3 minutes until the fruit is evenly dispersed. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured bench, and knead it for about a minute, then fold the dough by lifting it up and over itself a few times. Leave the dough to rest in the bowl, covered with a damp tea towel, for an hour.

Fold the dough in the bowl once more, and then leave it to rest, covered with the damp tea towel for another two hours or until risen by half. Gently press the dough; it’s ready if it leaves a dent (leave it longer if it is still springy, and then test again).

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured bench and cut it into 12 equal pieces. Cup your hand over the dough and use a firm pressure to roll it on the bench until it forms a nice tight round ball with a smooth, even surface. Cover the buns again with the damp tea towel, and leave them to rest for 15-20 minutes.

Line two trays with baking paper. Use a firm pressure to roll it in your hand on the bench again. Place the buns on the lined trays, evenly spaced out to allow for the eventual rise (if you prefer the look of clustered hot cross buns, place them side by side). Cover with a damp tea towel and leave to rise for 2-3 hours, until risen by half. Test it again by gently pressing the surface.

To prepare the cross mix, combine all the ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and whisk until it forms a smooth paste. Put this into a piping bag with a plain nozzle and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 200C. Lightly whisk egg wash ingredients in a small mixing bowl and brush it evenly over the buns. Pipe a cross onto each bun. Put the trays in the oven, reduce the temperature to 180C and bake for 10 minutes. Turn the tray and bake for a further 3-5 minutes until golden brown.

While the buns are baking, warm the glaze in a small saucepan. Once they are baked use a brush to coat the buns lightly in syrup. Cool slightly on a wire rack, but not for too long. They are best eaten when still warm, and almost as good later on, toasted with butter.


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