Celebrate Easter with Whirlpool's Ultimate Hot Cross Buns Recipe

Celebrate Easter with Whirlpool's Ultimate Hot Cross Buns Recipe

There's nothing like the warm aroma of freshly baked hot cross buns!

When Easter rolls around, there's nothing quite like the warm aroma of freshly baked hot cross buns wafting through the house, heralding the start of a festive culinary adventure. Hot cross buns are not only a delicious holiday treat but also a symbol of tradition, from their yeasty spiced dough to the iconic cross on the top, which signifies the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. In this detailed guide, we'll share our ultimate hot cross buns recipe guaranteed to brighten your Easter and have your kitchen bustling with warmth and sweetness.

Hot Cross Buns: A Tradition Baked Into History

Before we dive into the steps of baking, it's essential to understand the historical significance of hot cross buns. This venerable pastry traces its roots back hundreds of years and has been a part of Christian Easter celebrations since medieval times. With spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice reminiscent of ancient trade routes, and the symbolism of the cross, hot cross buns bridge the gap between historical culinary lore and modern tradition.

The hot cross bun is believed to have originated from England and its consumption on Good Friday is surrounded by superstitions and legends. According to lore, sharing a hot cross bun with a friend guarantees a lasting friendship, while keeping one will ensure protection against illness or simply good luck.

The Perfect Mix for Spiced Sweetness

Before you preheat the oven, you must prepare a dough that captures the essence of Easter in every bite. Our hot cross bun dough is a delicate mixture of flour, milk, butter, sugar, and eggs, seasoned generously with fruity currants and a blend of aromatic spices. Yet, the most important ingredient you'll need is patience—allowing the dough to rise will build the airy structure essential for the beloved soft texture.

Master Your Baking with a Whirlpool Oven

To ensure your hot cross buns turn out perfectly every time, it’s essential to bake them in an oven that offers consistent heat distribution and precise temperature control. A Whirlpool oven provides these key features, making it an excellent choice for baking these and other delicate Easter treats. Its advanced convection technology circulates air evenly, ensuring your buns will bake to golden-brown perfection without any hot spots. Plus, with user-friendly digital controls, you can set your Whirlpool oven to the exact temperature required, giving you the confidence that your hot cross buns will come out just right, batch after batch.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups whole milk
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons (one package) active dry yeast
  • 2 eggs (room temperate)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 ¼ cups currants (or sultanas, if preferred)

Method:

  1. Warm the milk to about 43°C (110°F), then stir in the yeast and a pinch of sugar. Allow it to sit for about 5 minutes until foamy.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt, and spices. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  3. Beat the eggs and add them to the flour mixture along with the milk and yeast. Mix until a shaggy dough forms.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 6-8 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic.
  5. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with a clean kitchen towel, and allow it to rise in a warm place for 1- 1 ½ hours, or until doubled in size.
  6. Punch down the dough, then knead in the currants until evenly distributed.
  7. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces and form them into smooth balls. Place them on a lined baking sheet.
  8. Cover the buns with a kitchen towel and allow them to rise for an additional 30-45 minutes.

Creating the Cross:

  • For the cross paste, mix ½ cup of all-purpose flour with 5-6 tablespoons of water to create a thick, pipeable paste.
  • Transfer the paste into a piping bag or a small zip-lock bag with the corner snipped off.
  • Pipe a cross onto each bun just before baking.

Baking Like a Pro:

  • Preheat your oven to 190°C (375°F ).
  • Brush the buns with an egg wash (1 egg beaten with a tablespoon of water) for a golden sheen.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

The Final Touch:

While the buns are still warm, glaze them by brushing on a mixture of 2 tablespoons of apricot jam and 1 tablespoon of water heated until melted.

Baking Beyond Tradition

For those who dare to step outside the bounds of tradition, hot cross buns can become a canvas for creative culinary expression. Here are a few ways to put a spin on your hot cross buns:

Chocolate Twist

Include semi-sweet chocolate chips in the dough for a delightful alternative to the traditional fruit filling. Drizzle the finished buns with melted chocolate for an indulgent touch.

Savory Surprise

Add shredded sharp cheddar and chopped scallions to the dough for a savory hot cross bun that's perfect for breakfast or served alongside a holiday ham.

Gluten-Free Goodness

Substitute the all-purpose flour with a gluten-free flour blend for a treat that everyone at the table can enjoy, without compromising on taste or texture.

Pairing Perfection

Hot cross buns are a joy to enjoy on their own, but they shine even brighter when paired with the right accompaniments. Consider serving them with a spread of creamy butter, clotted cream, or a zesty lemon curd. For a beverage pairing, a warm cup of tea, especially Earl Grey, or a spiced chai latte can elevate the experience even further.

Storing Your Hot Cross Buns

If, by some miracle, you have leftovers, it's essential to store them properly to preserve their flavor. Allow the buns to cool completely, then store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days. For longer storage, wrap the buns tightly in foil or plastic wrap and place them in a freezer bag in the freezer. To reheat, thaw at room temperature and warm them in a 150°C (300°F) oven for 10-12 minutes.

Capture the essence of Easter!

This Easter, fill your home with the spirit of the season by baking a batch of our ultimate hot cross buns. Whether you adhere strictly to the classic recipe or add your own innovative twists, the act of creation and the sharing of these special buns with loved ones is what truly captures the essence of Easter. Enjoy every step of the baking process, from mixing the dough to piping on the iconic crosses, and savor the joy of a successful bake. Happy Easter and happy baking!


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