Hot Cross Buns and a Bread & Butter Pudding…
Just between you and I… I’ve never liked hot cross buns! I just cannot get my head around the raisins. You’re eating this wonderfully sweet, spicy, sticky bun and all of a sudden your taste sensation is assaulted by something tart, slimy and totally out-of-place. I know that I am in the minority when it comes to this opinion, but that’s my taste buds! They just can’t handle it.
I know it’s wierd to begin a post about the hot cross buns I baked by declaring my hot cross bun hate and it must seem to you that I bake a lot of things that I don’t like. (*cough*bananas!*cough*) The thing is though, that G and my family are crazy about them! And I will bake anything for anyone, just to make them happy. I can’t help it!
The great thing about doing that is that the majority of the time I end up falling out of hate and into love. It happened again… I now love hot cross buns. I have to admit it did take leaving out the raisins and replacing them with chocolate chips *sheepish grin*, but still, they’re amazing!
Homemade hot cross buns are best eaten on the day you bake them, as they go stale quite quickly thereafter. But don’t sigh… what can you make with stale bread that’s just as good, if not better? Bread and Butter pudding.
My mom thought of the idea to make bread and butter pudding with the leftover buns while we were trying to decide what to have for pudding on Good Friday. She’s an ideas person. You go to her with a problem, and she can think up all these amazing ideas. She’s not always the executor of the ideas as I think she likes coming up with them more than doing them. But on Friday we rolled up our sleeves and got stuck in together. She’s always such a great help when I’m baking. She’ll wander into the kitchen and start cleaning up behind me, which is a huge feat as I am possibly the most clumsy, messy baker in the world!
She also came up with the idea of smearing the buns with caramel (dulce de leche) before pouring the custard over, hmmm… So it ended up as Caramel Hot Cross Bun Bread & Butter Pudding.
I got the recipe for the hot cross buns from a brilliant blog, Homesick Texan, and adapted it to my own likes. The custard for the bread and butter pudding came from a Woolworths recipe I found online and adapted quite a bit.
Hot Cross Buns… (adapted from Homesick Texan)
(makes about 24 buns)
- 1 packet dry yeast
- 1/4 cup tepid (lukewarm) water plus 2 tbsp
- 3/4 cup milk
- 115g butter (1/2 cup)
- 2 tbsp honey, plus more for glazing
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 3 eggs
- 2/3 cup raisins (I used chocolate chips)
- 4 cups flour (plus more if dough is too wet)
- 1 cup icing sugar
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp honey
Combine the yeast and the 1/4 cup of water in a small bowl and stir gently to mix. Heat the milk over low heat with the butter, salt and 2 tbsp of honey until the butter is melted and well incorporated. Let the mixture cool to just above room temperature, then add the yeast mixture.
Add the spices and eggs to the mixture and whisk lightly to combine.
Add the flour gradually, stirring with a wooden spoon until it comes together as a dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and pliable. Add the raisins/chocolate chips and knead them into the dough.
Set it in a greased bowl and cover with a dish towel. Let rise for about an hour in a warm place until doubled in size. (You can place it in a warm oven on its lowest temperature with a bowl of water alongside) Once risen, knock back the dough and divide it into 24 balls. Place them alongside each other in a baking pan with high sides which has been greased and floured. Let rise again for about 30-45 minutes. (at this stage you can preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F)
Slice a cross into each bun with a very sharp knife. (if the knife is not sharp enough it could tear the dough)
Bake for 15 minutes. Once baked, brush with honey and bake a further 5 minutes. While the buns are baking, combine the frosting ingredients together in a small bowl. When the buns come out of the oven, let them cool for 10 minutes and then make a cross of frosting on top of each bun.
Caramel Hot Cross Bun Bread & Butter Pudding… (serves about 10)
- 6-8 leftover hot cross buns, sliced in 1/2
- 5 whole eggs
- 160g castor sugar
- 250ml milk
- 100ml cream
- Butter, melted
- Caramel spread (Dulche de leche)
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Liberally smear the buns with caramel and layer them into an ovenproof dish. Heat the milk and cream together on the stove until just simmering. Whisk the sugar and eggs together in a bowl until just combined. Gradually add the hot milk mixture to the eggs, whisking gently, to make a custard. Pour this mixture over the hot cross buns and let stand for a few minutes. Drizzle some extra caramel over the top and bake for 30 minutes, or until it wobbles as one mass when you gently shake the dish and has browned on top. Serve warm.