Jesse Wells is the Head Chef at the Forest Lodge Hotel and his amazing recipe of a Hot Cross Bun Loaf pairs perfectly with our Hardy and Orwell cheeses.
I love hot cross buns, but trying to get them in toaster sometimes can be a bit of a faff. So I tried experimenting with a hot cross bun loaf instead, with an idea of pairing it with cheese. I love sweet things with cheese, it doesn’t all have to be acidic with cheese in my opinion.
This resulting loaf slices really well, and lasts a few days. I personally paired it with some of my favourite cheeses from the Book and Bucket cheese company; 'Hardy’s' (a 9 month old hard Manchego style) and ‘Orwell’ (a soft sheep milk cheese). I also added a cucumber chutney and a spiced tomato chutney. You can serve it with whatever cheese you like... or just eat it warm straight away, warm from the oven! It may seem unusual to pair with the cheese, but it really does work - it’s definitely worth a go!
500g plain or bread flour
9g dried yeast
300g mixed peel/fruit (like sultanas, raisins etc)
1 x egg
5 teaspoon mixed spice
Zest of 1 orange
Rice flour for dusting
Glaze - 100g water and 100g caster sugar
In a bowl add the flour, salt and dried fruit and mix together.
In a saucepan, add the milk, mixed spice, orange zest, sugar and butter. Put on a gentle heat and whisk until just warm, making sure it doesn’t simmer or boil. Allow to cool slightly, (it needs to be just slightly warm) and whisk in the yeast and 1 egg.
Now add the liquid mix to the dry mix. I use my hands to bring it together. Form a dough. Then leave for 30 mins covered to autolyse*.
*During the autolyse, the flour absorbs the water, becoming fully hydrated. This activates enzymes in the flour that stimulate the proteins to start gluten development. At the same time, further enzymes are starting to break starch down into the simple sugars that will feed the yeast during the bulk prove. This also allows you to make all sorts of bread easily with no mixer and with very minimal kneading/effort involved.
When the 30 mins is up you should have seen the dough increase by at least 1/3 in size. Remove the dough from the bowl onto a very lightly floured work surface. Knead to just enough to give the dough a smooth surface. Cut the dough in half and roll each half flat.
Taking each half one at a time... imagine the top of your dough is 12 o clock, and work in quarters, the right being 3 o clock, the bottom 6, the left 9. Lift 12 o’clock up and bring down to 6 and push down. Bring 3 over to 9 push down. Bring 9 over to 3 and push down. then finally 6 up to wear 12 is. You should have what resembles a small loaf. Turnover this loaf over, cup your hands round each end of the dough, and roll the dough across the bench towards you - this seals the folds you made. This technique comes from sourdough shaping and creates tension in the dough, and giving a good rise and shape. Repeat with the other half of the dough.
When you have two loaves, take 2 loaf tins, oil them very lightly and dust with rice flour. (normal plain flour will work too). Place your loaves in the tins and leave covered with a tea towel or cling film in a warm place until doubled in size.
Bake at 160 degrees (gas 5) until golden brown and the loaf springs back. To test remove from the tin, use a cake skewer and ensure it comes out clean (the hollow test doesn’t work on this as its a soft bun).
For the glaze - simply bring the water and sugar to the boil, and allow to cool.
When cooked remove to a wire rack, and brush with the glaze mixture.