It’s that time of the year when Christians around the globe are observing Lent, a solemn religious observance that commences on Ash Wednesday and covers a period of approximately six weeks before Easter Sunday.
In the run up to Good Friday and Easter, while prayer and self-denial are the two most common features, the end of Lent is also when the whiff of mouthwatering treats from the kitchen or from the neighbourhood bakery comes wafting through the air.
At Lavonne, one of our favourite traditional creations is the Hot Cross Bun, a spiced sweet bun made with currants or raisins and marked with a cross on the top, traditionally consumed on Good Friday.
Food history suggests that in Medieval England, these buns were believed to ward off evil spirits that people thought could make the bun go stale. Also, sharing a hot cross bun with another is supposed to ensure friendship throughout the coming year, particularly if “Half for you and half for me, Between us two shall goodwill be” is said at the time!
Funny beliefs aside, Hot Cross Buns are truly heaven-in-the-mouth, so if you plan on baking them, here’s your go-to recipe from Team Lavonne.
Hot Cross Buns- Recipe
Flour – 500g
Milk – 275g
Egg – 55g
Butter (room temp) – 55g
Raisin – 115g
Sugar – 55g
Salt – 10g
Yeast – 10g
Cinnamon – 2.5g
Water – 120g
Flour – 100g
Icing sugar – 20g
- Knead all the ingredients except salt, cinnamon, and raisins, till smooth. Do the windowpane test.
- If the dough has reached the desired texture, add in the salt and cinnamon. Knead till the salt is incorporated.
- Add in the raisins (the quantity of raisins can be adjusted as per preference).
- Divide the dough into 12 equal portions and shape them into smooth balls. Place them on a lightly greased tray and allow them to proof.
- Add the water, flour, and icing sugar, and mix. Place the mixture in a piping bag.
- Once the buns are proofed (double in size), gently egg wash (equal portion of egg and milk) each bun with a brush and then pipe over the above mixture to create the traditional cross over the buns.
- Place the buns in a preheated oven of 220°c for 10-12 minutes.
- Dilute the apricot jam with a bit of water. This will serve as a glaze.
- Once the buns are fully baked, immediately take them out of the oven and lightly brush each bun with the glaze.