One of our favourite things about Easter are hot cross buns! In Medieval times, bakers would place a cross on their loaves to protect them from evil spirits. Some say that the tradition might even be pre-Christian. Either way, their spicy, fruity flavour makes them the perfect seasonal treat. A cup of tea and a toasted hot cross bun with some melted butter is an Easter classic that we can’t wait to indulge in!
Laura, the chef at Lahloo Pantry, has been experimenting with some of our April Tea Heroes and came up with this gorgeous recipe, a variation on an Andrew Whitley’s essential. Using fruity, chocolatey Amber oolong as an ingredient gives these buns a different dimension of flavour that will surprise you!
“Half for you and half for me, Between us two shall goodwill be“
(for the fruit)
half a cup of Lahloo Amber oolong
200 g of sultanas and raisins, mixed to taste
Soak the fruit in Amber for at least an hour, but preferably overnight. Make sure that all the fruit is covered.
(for the ferment)
280 g milk
140 g wholemeal flour
10 g fresh yeast
Dissolve the sugar and yeast in the milk and make a paste, adding some of this mixture to the flour. Gradually add the rest of the milk, whisking until creamy. Leave the ferment covered in a warm place for about an hour.
(for the dough)
200g strong white flour
110 g wholemeal flour
50 g butter
35 g sugar
10 g mixed spice
1 tbsp and 1/2 finely ground Lahloo Amber oolong
a pinch of salt
Place the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix. Add butter and egg, mixing all the ingredients together and kneading. It shouldn’t be too tight, so some stickiness is fine. Once you’ve been kneading for a while, add the fruit, draining any excess of liquid first. Carefully fold and press until the fruit is evenly distributed.
Cover the mixture and leave it to rise.
Separate the dough into 16 pieces, putting them on a floured surface.
Place the rolls in straight lines about 5 cm apart on a lined baking tray. Cover them and put them in a warm place until they’re almost touching.
(for the crossing mix)
50g plain white flour
5g sunflower oil
1g baking powder
Place this mix in a piping bag with a fine nozzle and draw the crosses. (Is it just us, or are piping bags fun?)
… Now it’s time to bake! Put your hot cross buns in the oven (preheated to 180 C). It should take around 15 minutes, but keep an eye on them so they acquire the right colour!
Once they’re out, it’s time to glaze them!
(for the glaze)
Boil the cornflour in the tea until clear. Brush over the buns as soon as they’re out of the oven. They’ll be super shiny!
Once cooled, you can toast them and slather them in butter, although we must warn you, they’re amazing on their own!