Everyone loves a hot cross bun, it instantly reminds me of Easter, although these days you can get them all year round! I do love a traditional bun, but I devised this recipe whilst out running and decided to make them even more fun by shaping them like bunnies, hence my Hot Cross ‘Bunnies’! My oldest daughter and I had lots of fun making these, and it reminded me of my Mamgu (Mam-gee, Grandmother) teaching me how to make bread rolls and shaping them into hedgehogs when I was a little girl.
We were very happy with how our bunnies turned out, with Mari exclaiming that they were “Lovely” as she stuffed her face with one of them warm from the oven. Half of our warren look more like mice or cats, but overall I’m happy and more importantly they taste delicious. Give them a go over the Easter weekend, a great little baking activity to do as a family.
Hot Cross Bunnies – Makes 16
- 500g strong bread flour
- 10g dried yeast
- 10g salt
- 250ml full fat milk
- 65g sugar
- 85g unsalted butter
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 heaped tsp mixed spice
- 50g dried cranberries
- 50g white chocolate, either chips or a bar cut up into chunks
- 20g mixed peel
- 5 tbsp plain flour
- Apricot jam
Put the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl and rub in the butter, then add the sugar, yeast and mixed spice and mix until evenly distributed. Add the eggs and milk. Bring the mixture together into a ball and tip out onto the worktop.
Knead the dough until smooth – it will be very soft and sticky to begin with, but persevere; it should be smooth in around 10 minutes. Place the dough back into the bowl and leave to rest, covered with a tea towel at room temperature until doubled in size, at least one hour.
Once doubled in size, add the white chocolate, cranberries & mixed peel and knead again until evenly combined. Divide the dough into 16 pieces and shape into a slight oval shape. Pop onto a greased baking tray and cover with a tea towel to prove for around 45 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 180C Fan/200C/Gas mark 6 and grease a large baking tray.
5 minutes before the end of the 2nd prove, snip bunny ears into the buns and poke in 2 eyes using a cocktail stick or a skewer. Round the edges of the ears off otherwise they’ll burn in the oven. Mix together the plain flour with enough water to make a thick smooth paste and pop into a piping bag. Pipe crosses onto the bunnies, with the lines going from one back ‘leg’ to a front ‘leg’, rather than from tail to head and across the middle. One all your bunnies have been crossed, ears rounded and eyes marked, put the bunnies into the oven for around 18-20 minutes.
Remove from the oven and pop onto a cooling rack. Prepare some apricot jam to glaze by warming it in a saucepan until it’s a good consistency to glaze your bunnies. Once glazed, leave to cool slightly before slathering in butter.
Happy Easter ~ Pasg Hapus!