The Hot Cross Bun recipe to get you back into the Easter spirit

If anyone knows about conjuring joy from food it’s Burger Burger owner and Denizen hero Mimi Gilmour Buckley With this recipe the inspiring entrepreneur moved away from the grill and towards the oven for homemade hot cross buns.

“I’m not really a baker so it’s surprising that these turned out so freaking delicious,” Buckley says. “I got the original recipe from my Thermomix (which I’m obsessed with – I could turn into one of those crazy Tupperware-esque women at any moment) but I have jazzed it up a bit and remade it by hand to make sure it works for everyone. “I wouldn’t say I’m the biggest fan of dried fruit however I love Hot Cross Buns covered in lashings of Lewis Road Creamery Salted Butter. I’ve also added the option of sneaking in some dark chocolate because I think anything goes at the moment really. If you’ve got some sort of self control and don’t eat them all fresh out of the oven, they are just as good toasted or made into a Bun & Butter Pudding, to be served covered in custard and ice cream.”

Hot Cross Buns – With lockdown variations galore

Ingredients
Buns
250g full cream milk
1 tbsp dried instant yeast or 40g fresh yeast, crumbled
500g baker’s flour
1 pinch salt
70g butter
50g caster sugar (or 2 tbsp honey or maple syrup)
1 egg
Citrus zest – 1 lemon or lime, zest only, no white pith
(If you’re feeling fruity I also add a whole orange too. You could add 2 tbsp candied orange peel if you’re a domestic goddess and have a stash in the pantry.)
Spice mix option one: 2 tsp ground cinnamon, 2 tsp ground nutmeg, ½ tsp ground cloves, 1 tsp Heilala vanilla paste
Spice mix option two: 3 tsp mixed spice, 2 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp ground ginger. (If you don’t want spice you can leave it out completely!)
250g Fruit (2 cups) – I used currants but you can also use any combination of sultanas, raisins, dried or sauteed apple, blueberries, dried apricots, cranberries and roughly chopped dark chocolate. (If you want to make an adults-only version – and in times like this you might need the extra boost – you can soak the fruit in a spiced rum for 20 minutes before it goes in.)

Piping
80g plain flour
1 pinch salt
1 tsp olive oil
100ml water

Glaze
2 tbsp water, 2 tbsp sugar
or 2 tbsp honey
or 2 tbsp maple syrup
or marmalade
or frosting with orange zest 

Method 
Buns
1. Warm milk and stir through yeast. Leave to rest for one minute till mixture begins to foam. 
2. In a large bowl add flour, salt, butter, caster sugar, egg, spices and citrus zest. Stir to combine. Pour over milk and bring the dough together gently.
3. Add fruit and knead for 3 minutes. 
4. Transfer dough onto a floured work surface and work into a ball. 
5. Place dough ball in a large buttered bowl and cover bowl with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel. Leave to prove in a warm place until doubled in size (approx. 45 minutes – 1 hour).
6. Preheat the oven to 220°C. 
7. Knock down dough and divide it into 12 equal-sized pieces. Form into rolls and place them close together on a baking tray lined with baking paper and then set aside to prove again for 30 minutes.
8. When you have 5 minutes of proofing left to go, it’s time to make the crosses. To do this, place plain flour, salt, olive oil and water into a mixing bowl and mix until smooth.
9. Pour into a zip-lock bag, cut the corner off (just a teensy hole) and pipe crosses onto the top of buns. Best to do this with one swift movement once you’ve got your flow sorted – maybe practice to one side first. 
10. Bake for 10-15 minutes (220°C) or until golden brown. 

Glaze (make while buns are baking)
1. Place water and sugar in a small pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, whisk gently till sugar has dissolved completely. If you’re using one of the other suggested glazes, just slightly warm it in the microwave till it’s runny enough to be brushed.
2. Using a pastry brush, apply glaze on buns while still warm.
3. Allow to cool on the tray for 5 minutes before transferring onto a wire rack.
4. Serve warm with lashings of butter. 

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