How can one celebrate Easter (regardless of your religious beliefs or total lack of them as in my case) without hot cross buns? There is something about their fluffy but bready texture, when toasted, that has me addicted. I eat these year round but as I often have people at my house around Easter, I have to bake them.
Where does the greed come into play you ask? Well I thought it would be clever to make a double batch, double the hot cross buns in the same amount of time...who wouldn't? I must mention that I use a bread maker, specifically my Zojirushi bread maker to make all of my bread products (this is expensive but it is five years old, still going strong and worth every penny)!
Any of you out there with a bread maker will certainly question my sanity when I say I put 8 cups of flour, in addition to other ingredients, into this bread maker. As you can see these barely fit which does not bode well for the kneading cycle. At this point I was fully committed. Once the kneading was in full swing and essentially exploding out of the tin I realized that I had to also add the fruit. This was a step too far, disaster was really touching distance at this point. I decided I would knead in the fruit by hand which was totally impossible as this dough is hard. My only option was to set up a manual cycle (which only kneads), adding in the fruit with ½ the dough and then more fruit with the other half I had an over kneaded dough.
I baked them and was certain of the disastrous outcome when my husband came in the room and said ‘I love rock cakes’. I can confirm that they do taste like hot cross buns but that is where the resemblance ends.
I realize that this does not say much about the recipe but I have made this exact recipe about 20 times and if you don't get greedy like I did and stick to a single batch they come out just like the picture :)
I would like to highlight that I am lazy and not religious so I do not add the cross, it is simply too much effort and adds nothing to the flavor!
Here is the recipe (The Complete Book of Bread & Bread Machines by Christine Ingram and Jennie Shapter):
*It is only while typing out this recipe that I realize I also forgot the butter...how they were still edible is now beyond me.
**I prefer to use Saf Yeast, this is the best yeast I have ever used and it never fails me! I use the same quantity of this yeast to the one in the recipe.
Add all ingredients into the bread maker in this order (for the bread maker I have - others might have a different order). Set to dough setting and press start. Add the fruit when the machine tells you to!
When the dough cycle has finished knock back the dough and divide into 12 pieces. Shape into a ball and place on a prepared baking sheet and cover with an oiled film and leave for 30 - 45 minutes until it has doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F or 200 degrees C and bake buns for 15 - 18 minutes until golden.