Last year's buns with crosses and glaze - very pretty
A little late I know, but I did actually make these on time (i.e. before Good Friday) this year. I decided not to do the traditional crosses, making them into Not Cross Buns and therefore perfect for any time of the year, because these little beauties should definitely not be confined to the celebration of Easter!
I used the same recipe as last year, which can be found here: No Knead Mini Hot Cross Buns. The minor changes I made were to use all raisins rather than a mixture of raisins and cranberries, to use whole milk rather than semi skimmed (2%) and to use normal bread flour instead of extra strong. I got 17 50g balls of dough from the recipe.
This year's buns - not so pretty but equally delicious
It's perfect as far as I'm concerned - a little forethought for the soaking of the raisins to make them beautifully plump and juicy, no kneading of the sticky dough, minimal intervention on my part, and the loveliest soft, juicy buns at the end of the process. The only thing it requires is time really - I find sweet (enriched) yeasted doughs take much longer than you think to rise and I know this is where I've made mistakes in the past - not letting the dough rise enough has led to bullet like buns. The spices also retard the action of the yeast, so here patience is a virtue. I also like to arrange my buns to proove so that they batch together, maximising the softness.
Soft crumb with juicy raisins
I am the first to admit that these are not the most picture-perfect round, glazed hot cross buns but oh wow do they make up for that in taste and texture. J was chief taste tester for these and her first comment after finishing one (interspersed by comments such as 'Ooh, these are really good') was 'Have you brought any more for me....?' Make them, you won't regret it!
I'm entering these not cross buns into Calendar Cakes, where the theme this month is Easter Extravaganza. The host this month is Laura of Laura Loves Cakes, and the challenge is also hosted by Rachel of Dolly Bakes.