Cherry and Coconut Hot Cross Buns
While tradition states Hot Cross Buns should be eaten on Good Friday, many shops now sell these fruit studded buns all year round. I try to resist temptation and only buy/make them during the Easter period. Hot Cross Buns use one of my favourite types of dough – enriched dough. It’s silky texture is a pleasure to work with, even if it’s stickiness can sometimes be challenging.
Over the last few years rather than the traditional spicy fruit combination I’ve seen various other flavours appear on the shelves; earl grey, chocolate chip and, my personal favourite, cherry bakewell.
My new flavour suggestion would be cherry and coconut, it’s my new favourite flavour combination for baking. It first started as wholemeal scones for LB that soon evolved to be a flavour I shoehorned in to other baking; now is the turn for hot cross buns. One big advantage of anything involving desiccated coconut is that Hubs hates the stuff. Ah pity, more for me (& LB).
It’s taken a while but I’m trying to get my confidence back with bread making, with some tried and trusted recipes plus good old intuition I’m getting there. These hot cross buns I’m really pleased with.The light and fluffy dough works well with the subtle coconut taste and very few people can deny a gloriously glossy glace cherry. I also subbed a small amount of the white flour with some wholemeal. There is something about the nuttiness of brown flour that works really well with coconut. This recipe would also work well with dried cherries [which were distinctly lacking from all local supermarkets when I needed to make this recipe].
So, what flavour hot cross bun would you like to see?
- 125 ml coconut milk at room temperature
- 125 ml warm water
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 250 g strong white bread flour
- 200 g plain white flour
- 50 g wholemeal flour
- 7 g 1 sachet fast action yeast
- 10 g fine salt
- 50 g golden caster sugar
- 25 g desiccated coconut
- 50 g butter softened
- 150 g glace cherries halved
- 50 g white chocolate
- 15 g desiccated coconut
- 2 tbsp apricot jam you could also use shredless marmalade
- 2 tbsp water
In a jug whisk together the coconut milk, water, egg and vanilla extract. In your mixer bowl add the flours, yeast, salt, sugar and desiccated coconut and give a quick mix to combine the ingredients.
Pour in the liquids and begin to knead. Once the dough has started to combine, blob the softened butter into the mixing bowl and continue to knead for 8-10 minutes until you have soft, elastic dough. Once the dough is nearly ready add the halved glace cherries and knead for 30-60 seconds more to distribute the cherries in the dough. Shape into a round and leave to rise covered until doubled in size. In our house this usually takes 1-2 hours or I sometimes give it a helping hand by putting bowl in slow cooker and switching it on to warm setting.
Once the dough has doubled in size knock back the dough and divide into 8 equal pieces. Yes the dough is sticky, it’s meant to be. Don’t give in to temptation and add a handful of flour to make it easier to work with. If you really must, add a touch of oil to your hands to stop it sticking. Shape into buns and leave on a floured board, covered with a clean tea towel, to prove for 30 min.
Preheat oven to 200°c. Transfer the buns onto a floured baking tray. Bake for 15-20 min unti the buns are risen and golden. Keep a close eye on them, due to the sugar content of the dough they can brown quite quickly.
While the buns are still hot, mix together the two glaze ingredients and brush over the buns. Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool.
Once the buns have cooled gently melt the white chocolate and pour into a small piping bag. Allow the chocolate to cool for a bit before piping the crosses on to the buns. Before the chocolate sets, sprinkle coconut over the chocolate. Allow to set before eating.
Best eaten fresh or they can be frozen (minus the crosses)