Sunday, 29 March 2015

Cardamom Date & Orange Hot Cross Buns


Hot cross buns mark the start of Spring for me and and are one of my all time favourite baked treats. They are as satisfying to make at home as they are to eat and they're not as tricky as you might think either. If you can bake a simple loaf of bread, you can get creative with flavour and make your own batch of hot cross buns.

This recipe is inspired by Swedish style cardamon buns after a recent trip to Fabrique bakery and is slightly adapted from a recipe that I wrote for Design Sponge last Easter. In this version, I've upped the intensity of the cardamon by grinding the seeds and adding them to the flour mix instead of infusing the milk with whole pods. Read more of my hot cross bun tips over at Tesco Real Food. Happy Easter baking!

For the buns:
150ml whole milk
5 tablespoons clear honey
55g unsalted butter, cubed
350g strong white flour plus extra for kneading
7g fast action dried yeast
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
10 cardamom pods, seeds ground
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 medium egg, lightly beaten
100g dates, roughly chopped
zest of one orange

For the crosses:
55g plain flour
1 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons oil

For the egg wash:
1 medium egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon milk

For the glaze:
2 tablespoons clear honey

Heat the milk until just simmering. Stir in the honey and the butter and set aside to cool until tepid. Meanwhile, whisk together the flour, yeast, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in a large bowl.  Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and add the egg followed by the milk mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon to form a soft dough. Knead for 10 minutes by hand (or using a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment) until smooth and elastic. If the dough is too sticky to knead, sprinkle some flour onto your work surface.  Cover the dough with some lightly oiled cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for two hours or until doubled in size.

Lightly oil a baking sheet and knead the dough for 2-3 minutes until smooth.
Kneed the dates and the orange zest into the dough.

Divide the dough into twelve buns (about 60g each). Shape each bun by kneading the dough in on itself to create a smooth taught surface and place seam side down onto the baking sheet about 3cm apart. Cover with oiled cling film and leave to prove for 30 minutes or until doubled in size.

To make the crosses, mix together the flour, honey and enough water form a thick paste (2-2 ½ tablespoons) that is runny enough to pipe but still holds its shape. To make the egg wash, beat the egg with the milk and pass it through a sieve.
Once the buns have doubled in size, heat the oven to 200C and brush over the egg wash. Fill a piping bag with the paste for the crosses and snip off the end to make a small hole. Pipe each bun with a cross.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until risen and golden. Brush with the honey and transfer to a wire rack to cool.  Serve split and toasted with lots of butter.



1 comment:

Small Acorns said...

April these so look lovely. I am such a massive fan of cardamom. I think I have missed making these in time for Easter but that won't stop me having a go next weekend! thanks so much x

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