It’s Easter time and Easter time means hot cross buns!
I decided to be a little bit special with my HCBs this year and make apple cinnamon ones. Hot cross buns usually have a tiny hit of cinnamon and spice in them so the addition of apple really isn’t too much of a stretch. I found a recipe on Gourmet Traveller and have adapted it very slightly for my own version here. They are extremely delicious, not too sweet and a perfect treat this Easter.
Happy Easter baking!
Apple Cinnamon Hot Cross Buns
I’ve decided to start providing all recipes in weight now, as opposed to cup measurements. Weight measurements are more reliable for best results and I want you to have the best buns (see what I did there) and for me that means a set of scales and no more cups!
325g caster sugar
3 small Granny Smith apples, peeled and diced
1 cinnamon quill
700g plain flour
200g golden raisins or sultanas
14gm (2 sachets) dried active yeast
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
grated rind of 1 orange and 1 lemon
100g butter, chopped
1. Combine 260gm sugar and 375ml water in a saucepan, then squeeze in the juice of half a lemon and stir over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves. Meanwhile, cut remaining lemon half into 5mm-thick slices, add to pan with apple and cinnamon quill. Bring to the simmer, reduce heat to medium and cook until lemon and apple are translucent (20-25 minutes). Strain, reserving fruit and syrup separately. When cool enough to handle, dice lemon, combine with apple and set aside.
2. Combine 700gm flour, sultanas/raisins, yeast, 3 tsp ground cinnamon, allspice, rinds, remaining sugar, reserved apple mixture and 1 tsp salt in a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Combine milk and butter in a small saucepan, warm over low heat until butter melts and mixture is lukewarm. Whisk in egg, then add milk mixture to flour, stirring to form a soft dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic (8-10 minutes). Place in a lightly buttered bowl, cover and stand in a warm place until doubled in size (30-40 minutes).
3. Knock back dough, divide into 20 even pieces, then knead each piece into a smooth ball. Arrange dough balls on baking trays lined with baking paper, leaving 1cm between each for dough to expand. Cover with a tea towel and stand in a warm place until doubled in size (30-40 minutes).
4. Preheat oven to 220C. Combine remaining flour and 70ml cold water in a bowl and stir to a smooth paste. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a small plain nozzle and pipe a cross shape onto each bun. Bake for 10 minutes, reduce oven to 200C and bake until golden and buns sound hollow when tapped.
5. Meanwhile, combine reserved syrup and remaining ground cinnamon in a small saucepan and stir over medium heat until syrupy and combined. Brush thickly over hot buns, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.