A Bun Of Greatness

Imagine waking up early on a Sunday morning to the smell of freshly baked hot cross buns and enjoying a warm cuppa nestled in your crisp sheets. That spiced cinnamon filling the air and that first bite from the oven, smothered in butter are the parts of Easter we look forward to.

Darren Collier, aka Dazz, our extremely talented, Head Chef has taken the time to share his personal recipe to the Urban Foodies of Melbourne. He usually starts it up with his own starter, which we will talk more about in a later blog post, however, he has created a recipe for the whole family to follow. Dazz’s philosophy is about sharing the food experience.

“Cooking with or for the family is so fulfilling, especially during a time of the year where we can all enjoy slowing down and doing the process together.”

Darren Collier – Bay Leaf Catering Head Chef

All of us at The Urban Foodies have tried Dazz’s baking skills and can unanimously agree his creations are something special. So enough of the origin story of this HCB and into the recipe…

The Buns

Makes 16

  • 200ml milk, plus a little more for glazing
  • 3 cardamom pods, bruised
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 cloves
  • ¼ tsp grated nutmeg
  • 7g dried yeast
  • 50g caster sugar, plus a little extra
  • 450g strong/bakers white flour
  • 100g cold butter, small diced
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 3 eggs
  • 150g currants
  • 50g mixed peel

The Cross

  • 50g plain flour
  • 25g self raising flour
  • Pinch salt and sugar
  • 65g water
  • 15g oil

The Method

  1. Soak the currents and mixed peel in water for at least a couple of hours. This avoids them burning during the cooking process
  2. Heat 200ml milk gently in a pan along with the cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and saffron until just boiling, and then turn off the heat and leave to reduce in temperature until it is blood warm. Strain the milk and add the yeast and 1tsp of sugar
  3. Tip the flour into the mixer bowl along with the butter and mix until the mix resembles breadcrumb texture. Add the rest of the sugar and the salt and ginger
  4. Beat the eggs separately in a bowl. Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture and add the beaten eggs and the yeast mixture. Mix, using the K beater attachment, until you have a soft dough. Using a dough hook next, knead the mixture until it is smooth and glossy. You may need a little more milk; different flours can use different amounts of liquid. Test the dough by gently stretching it between your fingers, you should be able to stretch it thin and almost see through the mix. This is called the window test. Grease a bowl and transfer the dough to it and cover with Gladwrap. You can transfer the dough to a fridge at this point and allow it to prove overnight; this will develop more flavour in the buns. Or, you can allow it to prove at room temperature for a couple of hours, or until its doubled in size
  5. When the dough has proved, tip it out on to a lightly greased work surface and knead for a minute or so, then flatten it out. Drain off the fruit, coat it in a little flour and scatter it over the dough. Knead again to distribute the fruit and divide into 16 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a bun and place on lined baking trays; cover and put in a warm place to prove again and double in size.
  6. Pre-heat the oven to 200C
  7. To make the cross mix the ingredients together to form a smooth paste and transfer this to a piping bag. Mix another egg with a little milk and pinch of salt for the glaze
  8. When the buns have proved, pipe the cross on the top and wash with the egg glaze. Bake for around 20-25 mins and leave to cool on a rack, this prevents them from sweating and becoming too doughy
  9. Enjoy with lots of butter

Darren’s Tip: For an extra level of bun greatness, boil some whisky and honey in equal parts to a loose syrup and glaze the buns after they come out of the oven and whilst still warm, lush!

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