RECIPE: Wholemeal hot cross buns

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One of my favourite things about making these hot cross buns was the cross making at the top of the buns–very therapeutic. Making hot cross buns has also opened a whole new door for me to explore… next up is cinnamon scrolls! Guys… I am enjoying baking. What?!

You can add some cocoa, choc chips or currants for a more festive bun however I am a fan of the plain wholemeal variety. You can also use white flour for a lighter, more fluffy bun but I thought I’d go the healthy option.

Makes 15 buns

Ingredients:

For the buns
3 1/2 cups wholemeal flour
2 x 7g sachets dried yeast
1/4 cup caster sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons mixed spice
Pinch salt
40g butter
300ml milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten

For the white cross paste
1/2 cup plain flour
5 tbsp water

For the glaze
1/3 cup water
2 tablespoons caster sugar

Butter, to serve

Method:
1.Preheat oven to 190°C or 170˚C fan-force. Combine the flour, yeast, sugar, mixed spice and salt in a large bowl. Melt the butter in small saucepan over medium heat; add the milk. Heat for 1 minute, or until warmed through.

2. Add warm milk mixture and eggs to dough mixture. Use a flat-bladed knife to mix until dough almost comes together. Use clean hands to finish mixing to form a soft dough.

3. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Knead for 10 minutes, or until dough is smooth. Place into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm place for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until dough doubles in size.

4. Line a large baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Punch dough down to its original size. Knead for 30 seconds on a lightly floured surface until smooth.

5. Divide dough into 12 even portions. Shape each portion into a ball. Place balls onto lined tray, about 1cm apart. Cover with plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm, wind-free place for 30 minutes, or until buns double in size.

6. To make the flour paste: Mix flour and water together in a small bowl until smooth, adding a little more water if paste is too thick. Spoon into a small snap-lock bag. Snip off 1 corner of bag. Pipe flour paste over tops of buns to form crosses.

7. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until buns are cooked through.

8. To make the glaze: Place water and sugar into a small saucepan over low heat. Stir until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil. Boil for 3-4 minutes. Brush warm glaze over warm hot cross buns. Serve warm or at room temperature with butter.