I follow a page called ‘Proper Tasty’ on facebook, which posts quick videos showing step by step instructions on how to make a variety of recipes. This recipe for hot cross muffins caught my eye as it seemed like a no fuss way of making hot cross buns, but with a twist.
And they turned out to be much more no-fuss than I had anticipated. They are supposed to prove for an hour and then another 30 minutes after shaping. As I put them in for the first prove, I realised that time had got away with me and I was late for a cinema date with my friend. So I gave up, figured I’d start again when I got home and went off to the cinema to see Batman v Superman.
When I got home a few hours later, I expected the dough to have over proved then collapsed on itself. However, when I checked it, it was triple the size of when I’d left it 4 hours earlier. Figuring I may as well give them a go, I mixed through the raisins, mixed the cross topping and put them in the oven. Surprisingly, they turned out wonderfully!
This could be to do with the fact that I didn’t use fast acting yeast as the recipe suggests. Instead I warmed the milk slightly and activated the dried yeast before use. I also amended the recipe by using orange zest, rather than lemon as I thought the flavour would be better and I made the recipe into 12 muffins rather than 15, which meant they cooked in 20 mins, rather than 15. I also used 50g of raisins rather than 1oog, to cut down on the sugar quantity. I also did not brush them down with golden syrup for the same reason.
Mix the flour, salt, butter, caster sugar, mixed spice and orange zest in a large bowl.
Warm the milk slightly in the microwave, then add the yeast. Leave to activate for 10-15 mins until the milk has a layer of froth on top.
Make a well in the centre and add two beaten eggs, then some of the milk. Stir in. Keep adding the milk and stirring until it is thoroughly mixed.
Knead for 5-10 minutes on a floured surface. The dough tends to get very sticky, so don’t be afraid to keep adding flour while you are kneading!
Place dough back in the bowl, cover with clingfilm and rest in a warm place for one hour or until double the size.
Give the dough a quick kneading, then flatten into a large circle and add the dried fruit to the middle. Encase with the sides of the dough, and keep kneading until the fruit is evenly distributed. It helps to cut the dough into pieces and combine several times.
Split the dough into nine equally sized balls.
Cut baking parchment into 15x15cm squares to use as cases in the muffin tin. Drop the balls in the middle of these. Cover with slightly oiled clingfilm and rest in a warm place for 30 minutes.
To make the paste for the crosses, combine 6 tsp of water and 2 tsp of plain flour. Transfer to a piping bag.
Carefully pipe the crosses onto the dough, then cook for 180°C for 20 minutes, until golden brown.