Sour-Cherry Hot Cross Buns
If Easter is all about togetherness, then hot cross buns are the delicious foodie equivalent of a warm hug. Here, an exclusive recipe, the first in an ongoing series from Australian Gourmet Traveller.
Recipe: Alice Storey
Photography: Will Meppem
Styling: Emma Knowles
“What’s Easter without hot cross buns?” says magazine editor, Anthea Loucas. “We’ve given these ones a Gourmet Traveller twist by using sour cherries in place of sultanas. Fragrant with spice and glossy with glaze, it’s the ultimate sticky bun – pop it on your long weekend baking list.”
Prep time 45 mins, cook 20 mins (plus proving, cooling)
200 gm dried sour cherries (see note)
65 gm raw caster sugar
14 gm (2 sachets) dried yeast
1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice
Finely grated rind of 1 orange and 1 lemon
845 gm plain flour
420 ml milk
100 gm butter, coarsely chopped
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 tsp sunflower oil
To serve: butter or chocolate hazelnut spread
Note Dried sour cherries are available from select delicatessens.
50 gm caster sugar
1/2 tsp mixed spice
Combine cherries, sugar, yeast, spices, rinds, 770gm flour and 1 tsp salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook and mix on low speed to combine. Heat milk and butter in a small saucepan over low heat until butter melts, set aside to cool slightly, then add egg and whisk. Add milk mixture to flour mixture and knead until smooth and elastic (8-10 minutes; dough will be quite soft). Place in a lightly buttered bowl, cover and stand in a warm place until doubled in size (50 minutes to 1 hour).
Knock back dough, divide into 18 even pieces, then roll each piece into a smooth ball. Arrange dough balls in concentric circles on a large baking tray 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).
Preheat oven to 220C. Combine remaining flour, sunflower oil and 60ml 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 on each bun. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce oven to 200C and bake until buns are golden and sound hollow when tapped (8-10 minutes). Set aside to cool.
For spice glaze, stir sugar, spice and 50ml water in a small saucepan over medium heat to dissolve sugar, bring to the simmer, then set aside to cool. Brush glaze over buns and serve buns warm or at room temperature with butter or chocolate hazelnut spread. Hot cross buns are best eaten on the day of making.