Hot Cross Bun Loaf

This is such a lovely Easter recipe!

This is basically one giant Hot Cross Bun loaf of bread, with all the usual fillings and spices. It is perfect sliced, toasted and spread generously with slightly salted butter mmm..

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Ta Daahhhhh

The recipe is one I made myself by combining ideas that inspired me from other bakes!

I decided to liven-up the traditional Hot Cross Bun dough, by incorporating dried cranberries and orange zest to given my loaf a nice fruity feel!

Don’t be put off by a yeast-risen dough, this one is extremely straight forward and fairly easy too 🙂

Happy baking!

Ingredients:

  • 425g strong white bread flour (this is important!)
  • 7g of dried yeast (which normally comes in 7g sachets)
  • 50g butter
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground mixed spice
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 50g light brown muscovado sugar
  • 75g of raisins
  • 50g sultanas
  • 50g chopped glace cherries
  • 50g dried cranberries
  • Zest of 1/2 large orange
  • 125ml milk
  • 125ml boiling water
  • For the ‘cross’ – 1tbsp. milk, 1tbsp. water & 1tbsp. plain flour

Method:

In a large mixing bowl (ideally the one which attaches to your food mixer), place inside the flour and butter. Rub together the flour and butter with clean hands as if you were making a crumble topping, until a breadcrumb-like consistency is formed.

In a measuring jug, measure together the milk and boiling water – this should make a warm liquid. Place all the remaining ingredients in the mixing bowl, saving the liquid mixture until last.

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Place your bowl under your food mixer with a dough hook attachment. Turn on medium speed and allow the machine to knead the dough for approx. 5-7mins, until a smooth elastic dough is formed. Tip your dough onto a work surface, lightly oil inside the mixing bowl, and return the dough back. Place clingfilm on top of the bowl and leave in a warm place for an hour and a half to prove – the dough should double in size.

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After the full proving time, turn your oven to 180°C and slightly butter the inside of a loaf tin.

Turn your dough onto a flour surface and ‘knock back’. This means lightly rolling and squishing the dough to push out excess C02 formed when the yeast ferments. At this point, shape your dough into an oblong/ rectangle. Pinch all your seams to the underside of the dough, so none are visible on the
surface. Place your dough seam-side down into your butter loaf tin. Leave for a further 30mins in a warm place to rest.

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After 30mins, your loaf should fit into your tin and be nice and big. Mix together the flour, water and milk for the cross. You should obtain a sticky paste. Pop the paste into a piping bag and pipe a cross onto your loaf (I used a flat edged, fluted nozzle). Finally, brush the top of your loaf with milk, to ensure it goes golden brown in the oven.

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Place your loaf into the oven and bake for approx. 25-30mins, until a deep brown colour crust is formed. In the bottom of my oven I place a baking tray full of boiling water – this creates steam which makes the dough rise, as well as giving the dough a beautiful crust.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the baking tin. To give your loaf a glossy finish, spread some warmed apricot jam (give it a quick blast in the microwave) on the top of your loaf, using a pastry brush.

Now eat and enjoy ❤

See you soon 🙂 Sofia xxxx

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