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Before starting this Hot Cross Buns recipe, make sure you have organised all the necessary ingredients.
Pour the milk, butter, lemon zest, cloves and cardamom seeds in a saucepan.
Heat until the butter is completely melted and incorporated.
Add the soft brown sugar.
Let the milk go down to a temperature of 37°C. I recommend using a laser thermometer or a digital thermometer with probe. This operation is important in order not to kill the yeast. Make sure you don't add the yeast to hot milk.
Remove the cloves and cardamom seeds which have infused in the milk by now.
In the stand mixer recipient, place the flour, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and the dry yeast.
Pour the warm milk over the flour...
... and knead with the dough hook attachment.
Add the eggs, one at a time.
Knead for about 10 minutes until the dough becomes elastic and comes away from the sides of the bowl.
Scrape the sides of the bowl.
Transfer the dough on a baking sheet, which has been slightly greased.
Cover with a clean cloth and leave to proof in a warm room (preferably between 25 and 30°C) or in a warm oven preheated at 30°C, or under a heating lamp. Proofing time should be about 2 hours.
After 2 hours, the dough should have risen.
Transfer the dough on your kitchen worktop.
Knock the dough back. Fold the dough repeatedly with the heels of your hands until the air is knocked out of it.
Divide the dough into twelve equal balls. With the quantities listed for this recipe, each ball should weigh between 100 and 105 grams.
Weigh the balls...
... and shape them into a perfect round.
Grease a baking sheet slightly and arrange the balls into three rows. The dough balls should touch a little.
When you have three rows of four balls...
... cover with a clean cloth and leave to proof in a warm room not exceeding 30/35°C as mentioned earlier.
One hour later, the buns should have risen.
During proofing time, make the white icing for the cross. Combine the flour, water and salt. Salt is an important ingredient for the icing. Whisk the ingredients until you get a soft paste.
Transfer the icing into a piping bag. The use of a nozzle is not necessary.
Cut the tip of the piping bag to obtain a diameter of about 2 or 3 mm. Pipe the white icing into lines over the buns to create a cross pattern.
Make sure the lines are centred on the buns.
The result should look like this.
Place in a fan-assisted oven preheated at 170°C (gas 3).
Bake between 25 and 30 minutes.
When cooked and golden, remove the buns from the oven and glaze the surface with sugar cane syrup. Apply the syrup with a pastry brush over the hot buns. The heat from the buns will ensure the glaze dries and doesn't stay sticky on the surface.
The hot cross buns should be golden with a glossy finish. Enjoy!
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