EASTER BRIOCHE HOT CROSS BUNS
The tradition of making hot cross buns is ingrained in our childhood memories; little fingers kneading the dough, piping the tops with wiggly crosses.
The sweet smell of spiced sticky buns fresh out of the oven is delicious. These brioche buns are light, fluffy, buttery, sweetly spiced and delicious.
This recipe is easily doubled to make a large batch of buns. We highly recommend using freshly ground cinnamon as this makes a huge difference to the flavour.Makes 12 hot cross buns
To prepare the fruit: in a small saucepan mix the orange zest and juice with the mixed peel and dried fruit. Place over a low heat and gently simmer until the juice is warm & the fruit has started to plump up. Set aside for the fruit to soak up all the juice and allow to cool.
To prepare the brioche dough: melt the butter and milk together, either in the microwave or in a saucepan over a medium heat.
In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, spices and salt together. Make a well in the middle of the flour. Add the warm butter mixture, sprinkle over the yeast and leave for 5 minutes to foam up.
In another bowl whisk the eggs and sugar together. Pour the egg mixture into the foamed up yeast and stir until the batter is well combined. Pour in the fruit and orange juice. Stir the batter vigorously using a wooden spoon for a few minutes until well combined. Note: the dough should be quite sticky. Cover and place in a warm place to rise. You want the dough to double in size, which can take a couple of hours.
To prepare the hot cross buns: line a baking tray with baking paper. Flour your bench and tip the dough out onto the flour. Using well-floured hands, lightly knead the dough for a couple of minutes. Divide the dough into 12 even portions.
Gently form each portion of dough into a ball and place on the baking trays so they are snug but still have room to rise. Cover and leave to rise in a warm spot for about 20 minutes or until they have doubled in size.
To prepare the icing for the crosses: in a small bowl combine the flour, icing sugar and water. Using a fork, whisk in enough water to form a thick paste that is a good piping consistency. If it is too thick add more water or if too thin add a little more flour. Transfer the mix into a piping bag or a zip lock bag and cut a bottom corner off.
To bake the buns: preheat oven to 180°C.
Gently brush the tops of the buns with eggwash. Pipe crosses over the top of the buns. Place in the oven and bake for 20 - 30 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from the oven, and while the buns are still hot brush the tops with the honey glaze.