Home made hot cross buns are absolutely delicious but they are, I confess, a little fiddly and not for everyone. To that end, I have been experimenting with baking the simplest EVER hot cross buns that require almost no work and are, yet, completely lush. And here they are the no knead easter faux-caccia hot cross "buns. Or just Easter faux-caccia.
I have adapted the recipe from the one that appears for Hot Cross Buns in my second book The Book of Buns and I thank my friend and fellow Bread Angel, Filam Smallridge who owns the Small Bread Company in Oundle for the fantastic idea for the glaze. As this is a no knead bread the easiest thing to do is to start it the night before you want the buns.
For the "buns":
250 g raisins or sultanas
150 g whole meal flour
300 g white flour
2 g instant yeast, 4 g dry yeast, 8 g fresh yeast
8 g salt
60 g sugar
350 g milk (from the fridge is fine)
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground clove
1 teaspoon all spice
1 teaspoon mixed spice or cardomom (ground)
60 g unsalted butter
For the crossing mix:
50 g white flour
50 g water
pinch of baking powder or soda
1/2 tsp vegetable oil of your choice (even olive will do - there is so little you cannot taste it)
The night before you want the buns measure the raisins/sultanas into a bowl and cover them with water. Cover and let sit on the counter over night. Measure all the other ingredients for the buns except the butter into a big mixing bowl. Stir well to mix and then cover with plastic wrap and pop it in the fridge.
The next day remove the dough from the fridge. Drain the raisins/sultanas reserving their soaking liquid and stir them into the dough gently to distribute them thoroughly.
Melt the butter and pour it into a roasting tray that is about 12 x 9 inches. If it is a non stick tray, pour the butter straight in and spread it around. If it is not a non stick tray, line it first with non stick baking parchment and then pour in the butter and spread it around.
Scrape the dough into the pan and roll it around in the butter to coat it thoroughly. Stretch it and fold it and get the butter all over the place. Then, gently pull it out (don't squash it down) so that it fills the tray. Cover it and leave it for a good 2-3 hours until it has risen to the top of the tray.
Pre heat the oven to 200 degrees C.
Stir together the ingredients for the crossing mixture and the scoop it into a piping bag with a small nozzle or a sturdy plastic bag with a tiny hole cut into one corner. Pipe 3 lines going long wise over the surface of the dough and 5 lines going across the width of the dough. make sure you start the lines about 1/5 - 2 inches in from the edges because you want the lines' intersection to be in the middle of each "bun".
Pop the dough in the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes. You want the dough to be a nice golden brown and the crosses to be white (fingers crossed).
While the dough is baking, put the liquid you reserved from the raisins into a small sauce pan and boiil it rapidly until it becomes a thick syrup.
When the faux-caccia is done, remove it from the oven and remove it from the pan by placing a cooking rack over the pan and inverting it. The faux-caccia should drop right out! Remove the parchment (if you used it) and flip the faux-caccia over so it is right side up. Immediately glaze it with the raisin syrup and then let it cool completely.
Cut it into squares where the lines intersect and eat. YUM.