In three years of blogging, it occurred to me that I have made so many recipes for Christmas, but I’ve yet to make anything to mark Easter. This time of year is full of so many delicious treats, Simnel Cake, huge amounts of chocolate in egg or bunny rabbit form and of course hot cross buns.
I really like hot cross buns, but I do get a bit bored with some of the supermarket offerings. So I decided to create my own flavour of hot cross buns, these are flavoured with matcha, cranberries and white chocolate. There is also a little bit of cinnamon, because that flavour is just what you want from a tea cake or Easter bake.
The reason I wanted to use matcha in this recipe is because I wanted my hot cross buns to be green. The dough was bright green before cooking, but it became quite pale after I baked them. You don’t have to add the matcha, I don’t think it really contributed much in the way of flavour, so you could add 2 tbsp and then I’m sure your buns would be really green, or you could leave it out all together and these really wouldn’t be lacking in anything because it.
I’ve never made hot cross buns before and they tasted so much nicer than the shop bought ones I’ve had over the years. I don’t know why I was surprised, generally homemade always tastes better, especially homemade croissants and puff pastry. They really are worth the effort.
The proving times are quite long on these buns so be sure to read the recipe through completely. I didn’t allow enough time so I had to reduce some of the proving times as these were made as part of a late night baking session and I wanted to get to bed before 1am!
I generally do all of my baking for the blog at night, normally after a day at work and after the dog has been walked and dinner made, eaten and cleared away. Which is why a lot of the time, you don’t see step by step photos on the blog of what I’ve made – the light is normally way too bad at night, so I take my photographs the following day. This also means I have to exercise a lot of self-control and wait to eat anything I’ve made if it is a whole cake or treat.
I do try to share everything on my instagram stories though, so do follow me there and take a look at what I am up to.
Something like this recipe though, which makes lots of little buns means I can sample one of them still warm from the oven and I’m left with a whole tray still to photograph the next day.
If you want to make these yourself, get the recipe below. They are a little bit time-consuming, but they’re worth it.
- ***For the Buns***
- 300ml Milk
- 50g Butter
- 500g Bread Flour
- 75g Golden Caster Sugar
- 1 Tbsp Matcha
- 1 Tsp Salt
- 7g Fast Action Yeast
- 1 Egg
- 100g Cranberries
- 75g White Chocolate Chips, or chopped into chunks
- ½ Tsp Cinnamon
- ***To finish***
- 75g Plain Flour
- 3 Tbsp Apricot Jam
- Bring the milk to the boil, take it off the heat add the butter, stirring until the butter melts. Leave to cool until it reaches hand temperature.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the flour, salt, sugar, matcha and yeast, making sure the yeast and salt don't touch.
- Pour the warm milk and butter mixture into the centre of the dry ingredients and then add the egg.
- Using a dough hook fitted on your stand mixer, mix for about 8 minutes until you have a smooth dough that pulls away from the sides of the bowl and all the flour is mixed in.
- Cover the bowl with oiled cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hr or until doubled in size and a finger pressed into it leaves a dent.
- With the dough still in the bowl, tip in the white chocolate, cranberries and cinnamon. Using mixer again, knead the dough, making sure everything is well distributed.
- Cover the bowl again with oiled cling film amd leave to rise for another 1 hr more or until doubled in size.
- Line two baking trays with baking parchment.
- Divide the dough into 14 even pieces (about 75-80g per piece), but you can weigh the whole dough and then divide it by 14 to get a more accurate individual roll weight.
- Roll each piece into a smooth ball on a lightly floured work surface. Arrange the buns on one or two baking trays lined with parchment, leaving enough space for the dough to expand.
- Cover (but don’t wrap) lightly with more oiled cling film, or a clean tea towel, then set aside to prove for 1 hr more.
- Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.
- Mix the flour with about 5 tbsp water to make the paste for the cross – add the water 1 tbsp at a time, so you add just enough for a thick paste. Spoon into a piping bag with a small nozzle. Pipe a line along each row of buns, then repeat in the other direction to create crosses. Bake for 20 mins until golden brown.
- Gently heat the apricot jam to melt, then sieve to get rid of any chunks. While the jam is still warm, brush over the top of the warm buns and leave to cool.
Be careful that the white chocolate in the buns doesn't catch or bun, try not to chop it too small, or have too much of it near the top of your buns.
In this recipe, the matcha really only makes the hot cross buns a green colour, it doesn't add too much in the way of flavour, so you can always leave it out of you don't have any.
Thanks for reading.