PARMESAN, HONEY & DATE HOT CROSS BUN LOAF WITH A CARAMEL BUTTER
Nothing says Easter better than home-baked hot cross buns. This recipe brings a delicious new twist to an old family favourite.
1¾ cup luke warm water
15g ( 1½ sachets) instant dry yeast
1 tablespoon castor sugar
3 ½ cups bread flour
1 large egg
1 teaspoon fine salt
1 teaspoon all spice
¼ cup currants
½ cup dates, finely chopped
¼ cup mixed peel
1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
For the crossing paste:
½ cup flour
2-4 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon olive oil
For the glaze:
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup honey
Sprinkle the yeast over a little of the water and mix until combined. Leave for 5 minutes until frothy.
In another bowl mix the all spice, currants, dates, peel and parmesan and set aside.
To make the glaze place the water and honey in a small saucepan and cook slowly to melt the honey.
Place the flour and salt in a bowl, make a well in the middle and add the egg, yeast mixture and remaining water. Whisk using a fork to mix the egg and then begin mixing in the flour. Once the mixture comes together continue to knead with your hand until a ball forms. Remove from the bowl and knead on a lightly floured counter until smooth, roughly 10 minutes. Lightly oil the bowl and place the dough back into it. Cover with plastic wrap and leave in a warm place to double in size.
Once doubled, remove from the bowl and place on a lightly floured counter. Press firmly into the dough to knock out the air and flatten the dough. Place the fruit and cheese mix in the centre of the dough and fold the dough over it. Begin to knead the dough, working the mixture into the dough until evenly distributed and incorporated.
Now divide the dough into 12 equal size balls, place in a lightly oiled baking dish (allowing space between them to rise). Cover with plastic wrap allow to rise for a further 30-45minutes until doubled in size. At this point preheat the oven to 200’c.
Make the paste by mixing the flour, water and olive oil together. You may need to adjust the water or flour slightly. It should be loose enough to pipe but still hold its shape once piped.
Place the crossing paste into a piping bag and carefully pipe crosses onto each of the buns. Place in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until risen and golden brown or hallow when tapped.
Remove the buns from the oven and brush generously with the honey glaze. Serve slightly cooled but still warm with caramel butter and grated parmesan.
To make the caramel butter
1 cup demerara sugar
½ cup cream
pinch of salt
Place the 75g of butter, sugar and cream in a small saucepan and slowly heat, stirring continuously. Once the sugar has melted and the mixture is bubbling slowly, leave to cook for a further 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely. Once cool, place half the caramel in a standing mixer and cream with the 125g butter until light and well incorporated. Place in the fridge and chill until ready to use. Reserve the extra caramel for drizzling over the buns.