'Traditional Style' Fruit Hot Cross Buns with Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream Cross


 
'Traditional Style' Fruit Hot Cross Buns with Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream Cross. Soft, fluffy, spiced buns are filled with raisins and currants soaked in earl grey tea, before being shaped into buns, and finished off with a vanilla bean pastry cream cross, which is a total game changer. These are an elevated version of the traditional hot cross buns, and will be your new go to Easter baking treat. #hotcrossbuns #pastrycreamcross #fruithotcrossbuns
'Traditional Style' Fruit Hot Cross Buns with Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream Cross. Soft, fluffy, spiced buns are filled with raisins and currants soaked in earl grey tea, before being shaped into buns, and finished off with a vanilla bean pastry cream cross, which is a total game changer. These are an elevated version of the traditional hot cross buns, and will be your new go to Easter baking treat. #hotcrossbuns #pastrycreamcross #fruithotcrossbuns
'Traditional Style' Fruit Hot Cross Buns with Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream Cross. Soft, fluffy, spiced buns are filled with raisins and currants soaked in earl grey tea, before being shaped into buns, and finished off with a vanilla bean pastry cream cross, which is a total game changer. These are an elevated version of the traditional hot cross buns, and will be your new go to Easter baking treat. #hotcrossbuns #pastrycreamcross #fruithotcrossbuns
'Traditional Style' Fruit Hot Cross Buns with Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream Cross. Soft, fluffy, spiced buns are filled with raisins and currants soaked in earl grey tea, before being shaped into buns, and finished off with a vanilla bean pastry cream cross, which is a total game changer. These are an elevated version of the traditional hot cross buns, and will be your new go to Easter baking treat. #hotcrossbuns #pastrycreamcross #fruithotcrossbuns
'Traditional Style' Fruit Hot Cross Buns with Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream Cross. Soft, fluffy, spiced buns are filled with raisins and currants soaked in earl grey tea, before being shaped into buns, and finished off with a vanilla bean pastry cream cross, which is a total game changer. These are an elevated version of the traditional hot cross buns, and will be your new go to Easter baking treat. #hotcrossbuns #pastrycreamcross #fruithotcrossbuns
'Traditional Style' Fruit Hot Cross Buns with Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream Cross. Soft, fluffy, spiced buns are filled with raisins and currants soaked in earl grey tea, before being shaped into buns, and finished off with a vanilla bean pastry cream cross, which is a total game changer. These are an elevated version of the traditional hot cross buns, and will be your new go to Easter baking treat. #hotcrossbuns #pastrycreamcross #fruithotcrossbuns
'Traditional Style' Fruit Hot Cross Buns with Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream Cross. Soft, fluffy, spiced buns are filled with raisins and currants soaked in earl grey tea, before being shaped into buns, and finished off with a vanilla bean pastry cream cross, which is a total game changer. These are an elevated version of the traditional hot cross buns, and will be your new go to Easter baking treat. #hotcrossbuns #pastrycreamcross #fruithotcrossbuns
'Traditional Style' Fruit Hot Cross Buns with Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream Cross. Soft, fluffy, spiced buns are filled with raisins and currants soaked in earl grey tea, before being shaped into buns, and finished off with a vanilla bean pastry cream cross, which is a total game changer. These are an elevated version of the traditional hot cross buns, and will be your new go to Easter baking treat. #hotcrossbuns #pastrycreamcross #fruithotcrossbuns
'Traditional Style' Fruit Hot Cross Buns with Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream Cross. Soft, fluffy, spiced buns are filled with raisins and currants soaked in earl grey tea, before being shaped into buns, and finished off with a vanilla bean pastry cream cross, which is a total game changer. These are an elevated version of the traditional hot cross buns, and will be your new go to Easter baking treat. #hotcrossbuns #pastrycreamcross #fruithotcrossbuns
'Traditional Style' Fruit Hot Cross Buns with Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream Cross. Soft, fluffy, spiced buns are filled with raisins and currants soaked in earl grey tea, before being shaped into buns, and finished off with a vanilla bean pastry cream cross, which is a total game changer. These are an elevated version of the traditional hot cross buns, and will be your new go to Easter baking treat. #hotcrossbuns #pastrycreamcross #fruithotcrossbuns

Hi! I’m just popping in super quick to drop this recipe here in time for the lead up to Easter! I was obsessed with how the Dark Chocolate Cardamom Hot Cross Buns turned out, so I wanted to develop a recipe for a more traditional fruit recipe too, just so that we have some options, you know? I’m equally as obsessed with these ones as am the chocolate ones, so would have a really hard time deciding between them!

I riffed on the chocolate recipe - the dough is perfect and soft, so I ditched the cocoa, and heavily spiced the dough. In New Zealand, we use a mixed spice blend (as opposed to allspice which is actually a spice of its own) that you can buy in the supermarket. I haven’t seen anything like it here, so I came up with my own mix of spices, which I actually prefer a little more, as I was able to control the ratio of spices within the dough a little more easily. I went for a big hit of the regular suspects - cinnamon and nutmeg, then rounded it out with some ground ginger, cardamom, cloves, allspice, and coriander. If you don’t have all of these spices, feel free to sub one for another, but I would make sure to include the cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice in there if you can!

I also snuck in an additional step - soaking the fruit before incorporating it into the dough. For this recipe, I soaked the dried raisins and currants in some strong Earl Grey tea, which helped to soften them and hydrate them so that they weren’t chewy in the dough. You can’t taste the tea in the finished product, but it just adds another dimension of flavour. Because the dough is quite soft, and the fruit is also quite soft, I prefer to incorporate it by hand once the dough has finished rising, in order to avoid it all getting squished along the edges of the bowl. I shaped these into 20, rather than the 12 buns I did with the chocolate version. This gave me slightly smaller buns, which I arranged 4x5 on a lined baking sheet - either works perfectly, so you can choose your size depending on what you are feeling!

I then finished them off with what I now consider the only way to do a cross on a hot cross bun - with a custard cross. I followed Ima’s lead, scoring the dough before it went into the oven, and then piping the crosses on once they had had 20 minutes in the oven, which makes the scored lines open up, giving you perfect wee gaps in which to put the pastry cream. Once the buns are fully baked, I brushed them with a vanilla bean syrup, to give them a perfectly shiny finish. Whether you make these or the chocolate ones, you’re going to have a great time. Happy Easter Baking! xx

A few wee tips:

  • I made these buns into 20 - arranged 4 across and 5 down. If you would like them slightly larger, follow shaping instructions for the dark chocolate cardamom buns.

  • I like to make the pastry cream while the dough is doing its first rise, then place it into a piping bag with a clip both above the tip and above the pastry cream, then cool it directly in the piping bag which helps to prevent a skin from forming

  • I did these all in one day, but the first rise can absolutely be done overnight in the fridge if you wanted to have them first thing in the morning - the second rise post shaping may take a little longer.

  • The dough for these will seem a little softer than you are used to - I jammed a whole lot of milk and butter into them, which makes for the most lush, soft bun. Just trust me on this one - it makes it easy to roll them too!

  • I kneaded the fruit in by hand toward the end. It will feel really weird and wet squishy to start off with, but just keep kneading and incorporating - you can add a teeny bit of flour to the surface if you need, but it will all eventually incorporate. I like to pat the dough into a rectangle, scatter the fruit over the top, then kind of fold it up into a package and start kneading from there.

  • If you don’t like Earl Grey Tea (you can’t really taste it, but some people just don’t like it), you can soak the fruit in some warmed orange juice, or strong black tea. They would be good soaked in chai too!

 

 

'Traditional Style' Fruit Hot Cross Buns with Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream Cross

- Makes 20 buns -

Pastry cream cross adapted from Ima

Bun Dough
300g strongly brewed earl grey tea (see notes)
200g raisins, golden raisins, or sultanas
50g dried currants
340g whole milk, lukewarm
120g sugar, divided
3 tsp active dry yeast
590g all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
3 1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 3/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 1/4 tsp ground ginger
3/4 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
115g unsalted butter, at room temperature

Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream Cross
40g corn starch
85g sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
400g whole milk
40g unsalted butter, at room temperature

Vanilla Bean Syrup
60g water
50g Sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla bean paste
tiny pinch of salt

 

- PROCESS -

BUN DOUGH

Place the raisins and currants in a medium bowl, and cover with the hot Earl Grey tea. Leave to soak for 30 minutes, then drain thoroughly - I like to transfer them to a sieve and leave them to drain while I make the dough.

Place the lukewarm milk, 15g of the sugar, and the yeast in a medium sized bowl, and stir to combine. Leave for 10-15 minutes, or until foamy.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, place the remaining 105g sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, cloves, cardamom, and coriander, and mix well to combine.

Add the milk mixture and vanilla bean paste to the dry ingredients, and mix on low for 2-3 minutes. Increase the speed of the mixer to medium, and mix for a further 5 minutes. Add the butter a little at a time, waiting until it is incorporated until adding the next piece. Mix for a further 7-10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and soft. 

Turn out the dough onto a work surface (I do not find that there is a need to flour, but add some if needed), and knead in the fruit by hand (see notes). It will take longer than you expect but the fruit will eventually incorporate into the dough.

Shape the dough into a ball, and place in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot until doubled in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or place in the fridge overnight. While the dough is proofing, make the pastry cream.

 

VANILLA BEAN PASTRY CREAM

In a medium bowl, whisk together the corn starch and sugar. Add the eggs, salt, and vanilla bean paste, and whisk well to combine.

In a medium saucepan, place the milk over a low heat until just shy of a simmer.

Whisking constantly, pour about half of the warm milk mixture into the egg mixture. Whisk until smooth, then add back into the saucepan. Whisking constantly, cook until thick. Add the butter and whisk to combine.

Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a round piping tip, and a clip just above the tip to prevent any leakage. Twist the piping bag closed, or secure with another clip, and store in the fridge until needed.

ASSEMBLY

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Turn the dough out onto a work surface, and weigh the dough. Divide the weight of the dough by 20, and divide the dough into 20 equal sized pieces. Roll each tightly into a ball, then arrange evenly on the baking sheet, in a 4 by 5 arrangement, leaving a little space between - don’t space them too far apart if you want them to join together in the oven to give the ‘classic’ hot cross bun look.

Lightly cover the pan with plastic wrap, and leave in a warm place for about 45 minutes, or until puffy and the dough springs back when lightly pressed with a finger.

Preheat the oven to 350°f / 180°c. Using a sharp paring knife or razor blade, score crosses in the buns.

Bake the buns for 20 minutes, then remove from the oven and pipe the pastry cream in crosses in the holes provided by the scoring.

Return the buns to the oven and bake for a further 10 to 15 minutes, or until the buns are lightly golden brown, or until they register 200°f / 90°c on an instant read thermometer. While the buns are baking, prepare the sugar syrup.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool, before brushing on the sugar syrup (recipe below).

SUGAR SYRUP

Place all the ingredients in a small saucepan, and bring to a boil. Boil for 1-2 minutes, then leave to stand until ready to use.

Store leftover buns in an airtight container at room temperature. Reheat in the microwave briefly before eating. Serve with butter.


'Traditional Style' Fruit Hot Cross Buns with Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream Cross. Soft, fluffy, spiced buns are filled with raisins and currants soaked in earl grey tea, before being shaped into buns, and finished off with a vanilla bean pastry cream cross, which is a total game changer. These are an elevated version of the traditional hot cross buns, and will be your new go to Easter baking treat. #hotcrossbuns #pastrycreamcross #fruithotcrossbuns

Hot Cross Bun Morning Buns


 
Hot Cross Bun Morning buns - a fancy twist on the traditional hot cross bun. A spiced dough is laminated with spiced butter, before being filled with a spiced sugar and dried fruit, and rolled up into a morning bun. The buns are finished with a mascarpone vanilla bean cross.
Hot Cross Bun Morning buns - a fancy twist on the traditional hot cross bun. A spiced dough is laminated with spiced butter, before being filled with a spiced sugar and dried fruit, and rolled up into a morning bun. The buns are finished with a mascarpone vanilla bean cross.
Hot Cross Bun Morning buns - a fancy twist on the traditional hot cross bun. A spiced dough is laminated with spiced butter, before being filled with a spiced sugar and dried fruit, and rolled up into a morning bun. The buns are finished with a mascarpone vanilla bean cross.
Hot Cross Bun Morning buns - a fancy twist on the traditional hot cross bun. A spiced dough is laminated with spiced butter, before being filled with a spiced sugar and dried fruit, and rolled up into a morning bun. The buns are finished with a mascarpone vanilla bean cross.
Hot Cross Bun Morning buns - a fancy twist on the traditional hot cross bun. A spiced dough is laminated with spiced butter, before being filled with a spiced sugar and dried fruit, and rolled up into a morning bun. The buns are finished with a mascarpone vanilla bean cross.
Hot Cross Bun Morning buns - a fancy twist on the traditional hot cross bun. A spiced dough is laminated with spiced butter, before being filled with a spiced sugar and dried fruit, and rolled up into a morning bun. The buns are finished with a mascarpone vanilla bean cross.
Hot Cross Bun Morning buns - a fancy twist on the traditional hot cross bun. A spiced dough is laminated with spiced butter, before being filled with a spiced sugar and dried fruit, and rolled up into a morning bun. The buns are finished with a mascarpone vanilla bean cross.
Hot Cross Bun Morning buns - a fancy twist on the traditional hot cross bun. A spiced dough is laminated with spiced butter, before being filled with a spiced sugar and dried fruit, and rolled up into a morning bun. The buns are finished with a mascarpone vanilla bean cross.
Hot Cross Bun Morning buns - a fancy twist on the traditional hot cross bun. A spiced dough is laminated with spiced butter, before being filled with a spiced sugar and dried fruit, and rolled up into a morning bun. The buns are finished with a mascarpone vanilla bean cross.

Happy Easter! I have spent today googling why it's not a public holiday here in the States (or is it? I usually judge this by whether spin class is on or not), eating the easter eggs that didn't make it into the cookie box that I didn't make, and sitting on my butt in front of the kitten's cage, trying to help socialise poor miss bunny. She's the shyest kitten I've come across in a very, very long time, but we are slowly starting to get there. She hasn't bitten me in a few days, so I'm going to take that as a small win. 

I've had these swimming around my head for a while - they were meant to be the product of a baking day a few weeks back, but we got snowed off. I haven't been able to stop thinking about them, and so they had to happen. I've been meaning to make morning buns for the longest time, and after having some success with making my own puff pastry, I figured giving yeasted laminated dough couldn't be too tricky. The actual laminating of the dough wasn't too bad, but it did take a few tries to get the right dimensions to shape these into nice little buns. I ended up testing these three times, which was fairly labour intensive, but the good news there is that I did all the work for you, and now you just get to make them once, without exploding a whole tray of laminated dough all over the floor of your oven. Don't ask. 

I figured seeing as it's easter time, I would go with some hot cross bun inspired morning buns. I started with Erin Mcdowell's dough recipe, and then spiced both the yeasted dough and the butter block for the lamination. Once I had finished my rolling and folding process, I rolled the dough out thinly, filled it with a spiced sugar, currants, and raisins, and then rolled it up into a swirly sausage, similar to how you would roll a cinnamon bun. They were then chopped up, and loaded into a sugar lined muffin tin, before being baked off. As laminated dough is baked, all the layers created with the butter get steamy, creating an amazingly flaky finished product, that shatters as you bite into it. Although I was extremely happy with how they looked when they came out of the oven, they aren't hot cross buns without a cross - so I gave them a quick mascarpone vanilla bean cross, which turned out to be a delicious addition. These would be perfect for Easter, but I would happily eat them all year round too. Do consider making your own laminated dough - once you get the hang of it, it is fairly easy, and a lot of fun!

A few wee tips:

  • A thermometer will be very helpful here - you want to make sure that the dough and the butter block are the same temperature before you start your lamination process. I use a digital probe thermometer, and I love it.

  • A scale is also helpful. Grams for life.

  • Temperature is key! After a few turns you do start to get the hang of things, and you can tell when the dough is a good temperature to do a fold. If it is hard to roll out you can leave it at room temp for a while, and if the butter is melting at the surface, it may need a little more time in the fridge.

  • If you can't find mixed spice, you can easily make your own - I used this recipe, omitting the mace

  • The dough for the buns needs to be made the night before, for an overnight chill.

  • This does make quite a few - you can freeze them once they are rolled up and sliced into buns, - when you are ready to bake, leave them to defrost in the fridge, then rise and bake off as directed. Make sure you store them in a ziploc bag or something airtight to ensure they don't take on the taste of your freezer.

 

 

Hot Cross Bun Morning Buns

- Makes about 24 -

Dough recipe adapted from Erin Mcdowell, via Food52

Dough
567g (4 3/4 cups) Bread Flour
71g unsalted butter, at room temperature
14g (1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp) instant yeast
2 1/2 tsp salt
360g (360ml) whole milk, cold
1 Tbsp Vanilla bean paste
2 1/2 tsp mixed spice
2 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg

Butter Block
455g (1 lb, or 4 sticks) butter, at room temperature
71g bread flour
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
2 tsp mixed spice
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg

Filling
113g (one stick) unsalted butter, melted
135g (2/3 cup) brown sugar
135g (2/3 cup) white sugar
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
150g dried raisins
70g dried currants

Mascarpone Icing (for the crosses)
One 225g (8oz) container of mascarpone, cold
63g (1/2 cup) icing sugar, sifted
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
 

- PROCESS -

BREAD DOUGH

Place all of the ingredients into a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. Mix on low speed for 3 minutes, then increase the speed to medium, and mix for a further 4 minutes, until the dough is smooth. Place into a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the fridge overnight.

LAMINATING THE DOUGH

To make the butter block, combine the butter, bread flour, vanilla bean paste, mixed spice, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a bowl, and mix until well combined. On a 13" x 18" piece of parchment paper, spread the butter into a 6" x 9" rectangle that is approximately 1/2" thick, using an offset spatula to square off the edges. Fold the remaining parchment paper down, using a bench scraper to square off the edges again (very square butter is very helpful!). Place in the fridge for 20-30 minutes, until it is between 60˚f and 70˚f (15˚c to 20˚c). 

Once it has reached the ideal temperature, bring both the butter block and the dough out of the fridge. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to a rectangle approximately 12" x 10". Place the butter block on the bottom half of the dough (you should have about half an inch space around the edges), and fold over the dough to 'lock' in the butter, pressing down the edges to seal it in. Tuck any excess underneath. Wrap in plastic wrap, place on the baking sheet, and rest in the fridge for 20-30 minutes. 

Remove the dough from the fridge. You are now going to begin the folding process. You will do a four fold, a three fold, a four fold, and another three fold.

Turn #1: 4-fold

On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to a 13" x 18" rectangle, using a bench scraper to keep the edges tightly squared off. Turn the dough so a long edge is facing you. Take the left edge of the dough, and fold 3/4 of the way across the dough, lining up the edges. Fold the right edge to meet the left, about 1/4 of the way across. Fold the dough in half, left side over right. Transfer to the baking sheet, brush off extra flour, and cover with plastic wrap. Rest for another 30 minutes.

Turn #2: 3-fold

Remove the dough from the fridge. On a lightly floured surface, repeat the rolling process - roll to 13" x 19", and square the edges. Turn so a long edge is facing you. Fold the left side of the dough 1/3 of the way across, then fold the right side of the dough over the left (so you have 3 layers of dough). Place on the baking sheet, brush off flour, cover and refrigerate. Rest for 30 minutes.

Turn #3: 4-fold

Repeat the process for a 4-fold as explained above, taking care to square the edges. Cover and rest for 30 minutes.

Turn #4: 3-fold

This is your final fold. Roll out, square off, and repeat the instructions for a 3-fold above. Cover, and rest for 30 minutes. 

ASSEMBLY AND BAKING

Remove the dough from the fridge, and divide in half. Wrap one half tightly in plastic and leave in the fridge while you work with the first half. Brush two 12-hole muffin tins with melted butter, and dust with sugar, tapping out the excess. Combine the sugars, mixed spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a bowl. In a second bowl, combine the raisins and currants.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out one half of the dough to a rectangle 12" x 24". Brush with melted butter, and sprinkle with half of the sugar mixture, pressing down to adhere. Sprinkle with half of the raisins and currants. Starting with a long end, roll up into a tight spiralled log. Cut into 12 equal pieces using a bread knife (approx 1 1/2" width each), and place each bun into a cavity in the prepared muffin tin. Loosely cover with plastic wrap. Repeat with the second half of dough. 

Place the buns in a warm place for 40-50 minutes, until they have risen slightly and are puffy. When you press lightly, your finger should leave an indent that bounces back very slightly. Preheat the oven to 365˚f / 185˚c.

Bake the buns for 25-35 minutes, or until lightly golden brown. Remove from the oven, and turn out the buns onto a wire rack. Dust with additional sugar. Place on the rack to cool. 

MASCARPONE CROSSES

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat all the ingredients together until smooth and fluffy. Transfer to a small piping bag fitted with a medium sized round piping tip, or a piping bag or ziploc bag with the end snipped off. Pipe a cross on each bun. 

These buns are best eaten the day that they are made. If desired, rewarm slightly before eating. Store leftovers in an airtight container. 

 

Hot Cross Bun Morning buns - a fancy twist on the traditional hot cross bun. A spiced dough is laminated with spiced butter, before being filled with a spiced sugar and dried fruit, and rolled up into a morning bun. The buns are finished with a mascarpone vanilla bean cross.