Hot cross buns are traditionally eaten on Good Friday in English-speaking countries, but can be eaten all year round. Their tradition dates back to the Middle Ages, to mark the end of Lent and the celebration of Easter. There are many variations, but most of them have in common that they are filled with spices, dried fruit and have the characteristic cross on top. I have chosen to fill mine with saffron, cardamom, various dried fruits. These are made as cold-raised buns so you can have them fresh from the oven early in the morning.
COLD RISE HOT CROSS BUNS
1 TBSP BOILING WATER
0.5 G SAFFRON
15 G FRESH YEAST
2½ DL COLD BUTTERMILK
2 M/L EGGS
50 G SUGAR
2 TSP. GROUND CARDAMOM
½ TSP. SALT
50 G SUCCADE
20 G CANDIED ORANGE PEEL
100 G DRIED CRANBERRIES/RAISINS
60 G VERY SOFT BUTTER
550 G FLOUR
Pour boiling water over the saffron and let it steep for 30 min.
Dissolve the yeast in the cold buttermilk with a whisk.
Beat eggs and sugar together with cardamom and salt.
Whisk the egg mixture into the milk, along with the cooled saffron liquid, which is poured through a fine-mesh sieve.
Add about 500 g flour, knead well and just before the dough is completely combined, add the butter and then knead the rest of the flour into the dough.
Put the dough on a lightly floured kitchen table and knead it smooth and pliable.
Add cranberries, raisins and ried fruit to the dough.
Immediately shape the dough into 12 buns of approx. 95 g each.
Place them in a pan, approx. 20 × 30 cm in size, lined with baking paper.
Place the buns with 1 cm. gaps between them. Put a piece of cling film and then a dampened tea towel over it and place the pan in the fridge for 8-12 hours, preferably longer.
2 TBSP FLOUR
3-4 TBSP WATER
Preheat oven to 220 degrees celcius
Mix flour and water into a paste and fill a piping bag with it.
Cut a small hole in the tip and pipe crosses over the buns.
Bake the buns for 10 min, lower the temperature to 200 degrees and bake for another 15-20 min. or until the core temperature of the buns is 96 degrees celcius.
1 TBSP. HONEY
Heat honey in the microwave so that it is liquid and brush the warm buns.
Let the buns cool on a rack before splitting them and eating with a thick layer of butter or jam.
NOTE: If you plan on freezing some of the buns, do not brush all of them with honey.