13/04/2017

ROBERTS BAKES - The Hot Cross Bun Edition with Heather Brown

It’s that joyous time of year again; where the warmer weather is welcomed with open arms, and we can celebrate the Easter holidays with family, friends and loved ones. For us, it’s the perfect time to kickback, listen to our favourite songs, and enjoy some afternoon baking over the long bank holiday weekend.  To help you whip up the best batch of Easter-inspired treats, we paired up with the wonderful Heather Brown, a Bournemouth-based baker who specialises in bespoke bakes for businesses in Dorset, to find out how she creates her heavenly buns.

As the morning sunshine poured in through Heather’s window, she popped on her apron, turned up the volume on her beloved Revival, and started rustling us up a batch of her delicious Hot Cross Buns. Here’s what she had to say.

You can find the full Hot Cross Buns recipe below.

What do you listen to whilst you're baking?

Well, my Roberts Radio is a loyal companion in the kitchen. I spend hours baking cakes for my clients, but my radio never fails to keep me company. Whether that’s blasting out a loud and heartfelt sing-a-long, or relaxing into some soothing radio play.

What do you love about baking Hot Cross Buns?

Although Hot Cross Buns take a little time and care in the kitchen, they are wonderful eaten fresh from the oven and are perfect for a relaxed brunch on Easter morning. Served alongside a hot cup of coffee, the Sunday papers and the radio chirping away in the background – what could be better?

Heather’s Hot Cross Buns Recipe

The Ingredients

For the buns:

450g Strong White Bread Flour

2tsp instant yeast (1 sachet)

2tbsp caster sugar

1tsp salt

50g butter

1 egg

200ml milk

1 orange (zest and juice)

2tsp ground cinnamon

200g dried fruit (I’ve used dried cherries)

 

For the ‘crosses’:

75ml water

75g plain flour

 

For the glaze:

1tbsp granulated sugar

2tbsp water

 

The Method

In a saucepan, add the milk, butter, organge juice and zest.  Simmer on a low heat so that the butter has melted and the mixture is luke wam, before beating in the egg.

Tip the flour into a large bowl, then add the caster sugar, cinnamon and salt to one side of the bowl and the yeast to the other.

Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until they have combined to forma  soft dough (you can add more milk or flour as necessary).

Knead the dough for 10 minutes until it is smooth and elastic (this can be done using a stand mixer and dough hook if you have one).  Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with cling film or a clean teat towel.  Leave the dough in a warm place for about 1 hour or until it has doubled in size.

Once ready, tip the dough onto the lightly floured surface and knead lightly for 1 minute.  Tip your dried fruit onto the dough and knead so the fruit is evenly distributed throughout.

Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper and separate the dough into 12 ball-shaped portions.  Place the 12 balls onto the tray and lightly cover with cling film or a clean tea towel and leave to rise for approximately 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C/180 degrees C/gas mark 6.

While the dough is rising, make a start on the crosses by mixing together the plain flour and water to form a paste.  Once the dough is ready, drizzle the cross shape across each bun with a piping bag or spoon.

Now the buns are ready to bake.  Place them in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until they are golden on top.  While you wait, heat together the sugar and water to form the glaze, and stir until the sugar has dissolved.  When the buns are ready, brush the sugar glaze over them for a glossy shine.

And there you have it, the perfect batch of Hot Cross Buns.

You can check out Heather's amazing bakes on social media by searching @heatherbrownuk.  If you enjoyed baking with us, keep an eye out for something exciting coming soon.