GIANT Hot Cross Bun Scroll!

Giant Hot Cross Bun Scroll

It's almost time for Easter and that means it's Hot Cross Bun season! How about a GIANT hot cross bun scroll complete with cross? This has port soaked raisins and a layer of custard in this wonderfully layered hot cross bun scroll. Plus it's more straightforward than you would think! This is a pushy recipe if you love Hot Cross Buns!

Giant Hot Cross Bun Scroll

I had dreams of making this giant hot cross bun scroll for almost a year. Hot cross buns are my favourite part of Easter (chocolate is an all year round sort of food). And although some people gristle and grumble when they make an appearance in the stores, I don't mind because it means more HCBs!

Tips for Making a Giant Hot Cross Bun Scroll!

1 - One of my best tips is an easy one: soaking the sultanas in rum, port or sweet sherry boosts the flavour SOOO much! It is the difference between a supermarket hot cross bun and a bakery hot cross bun. This means that the fruit is super plump and doesn't dry out the bread and it's also bursting with flavour.

2 - Don't be scared of adding those spices! They add such a beautiful aroma when baking and eating.

3 - Rolling scrolls like this looks trickier than it is. Start by rolling up a strip into a coil. Then keep adding more strips to the large coil. There will get to a point where you can add more strips, just under halfway through the dough. At that time place the coil in the centre of the greased tray and lift up the dough strips and press them against the coil. Don't worry if the sultanas drop off, just gently slide them back in.

4 - Always serve hot cross buns with butter

5 - P.S. I tried this dough with the tangzhong roux and it wasn't able to hold its shape properly as it was such a soft dough. I don't think you need a tangzhong dough for this recipe and it this lasted fresh for 3 days and I serve this sliced horizontally and then spread with butter and then microwaved (yes seriously) for 30 seconds. Perfection!

My Other Hot Cross Bun Recipes: Classic spiced hot cross bun (the recipe that everyone loves) , Carrot Cake Hot Cross Buns, Nutella swirl hot cross buns, Apple & Cinnamon hot cross bun, Finger Bun hot cross bun, Thermomix Hot Cross Buns or the Chocolate Hot Cross Bun. And if you want to have a bit more fun, there's the Hot Cross Bun Loaf!

Giant Hot Cross Bun Scroll

I promise while this may seem intimidating, it will suddenly come together and if you're not up for making a giant one, you can always make individual hot cross bun scrolls which are also delicious. I promise it will brighten up any day especially once you smell these baking in the oven. That extra glaze and frosting makes this a bit special too. I made a few and gave these as gifts to friends as presents.

Speaking of cheering up, Dear Reader I recently told you about our apartment selling woes as we put our apartment on the market for sale. Constant rainy weather, a lackadaisical agent, a slight downturn in the market and a glut of new apartments in our area for sale made things difficult. To add to our woes, the apartment two floors above us decided to sell their apartment. The owners were a couple getting divorced that we had never met as the apartment was rented out. Sometimes you end up opponents through no real fault or quarrel except for circumstance but this couple had an aggressive campaign. This is why I hate the real estate game because it's so dog eat dog.

Giant Hot Cross Bun Scroll

The apartment upstairs went on the market three days before our auction with an oversized billboard over twice the size of our sign (theirs was literally the largest sized sign I have ever seen). Our real estate agent Mandy begged their real estate agent to hold off for three days and promised once the auction was over she would give them the details of the interested parties. But the seller was undeterred. They wanted to sell and they tried everything to convert our potential buyers into theirs offering a very low price to the bidder that would eventually win ours. There was nothing we could do, it's perfectly legal but still battle lines were drawn. Both apartments were very similar and ours was on a lower level in a complex without an elevator and theirs was on the highest floor which meant that theirs got more sunlight but more steps.

Then this week I got a call from our agent Mandy and she asked if I had seen what the other apartment had gone for. I had deliberately not looked because I didn't want any bad news (seriously, lately it feels like we are living on a precipice). So I steeled myself for the worst because it was a slightly cursed campaign.

Giant Hot Cross Bun Scroll

"They got less than we did! Quite a bit less!!" she said happily. "If only they had listened to my advice," she added.

And we celebrated having a win with a slice of this Giant Hot Cross Bun.

So tell me Dear Reader, what is your favourite food part of Easter? Do you celebrate wins with food?

Giant Hot Cross Bun Scroll

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An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott

Preparation time: 40 minutes plus 2 hours rising time and 1 hour soaking time

Cooking time: 40 minutes

Serves: 8

This recipe is best started the night before

  • 1 cup/180g/6ozs. sultanas
  • 1 cup/250ml/8.8flozs port or whisky
  • 2.5 cups/375g/13ozs. flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons instant dried yeast
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 3/4 cup/185ml/6.5flozs. lukewarm water
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 50g/1.7ozs butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, beaten for egg wash

For Custard

  • 1 cup/250ml/8.8flozs milk
  • 50g/1.7ozs caster or superfine sugar
  • 20g/0.7ozs, cornflour/fine cornstarch
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

For Cross

  • 2 tablespoons apricot jam (the liquid part, not the chunky fruit)
  • 3/4 cup/ 120g/4ozs icing or powdered sugar
  • 22mls/0.7flozs. cream
  • 15g/0.5oz butter, room temperature (not melted)

Step 1 - Soak the sultanas in the port or whisky overnight to plump up or heat port up and add to the sultanas and let it soak in and absorb.

Step 2 a- Mix the flour, sugar, yeast, cinnamon, nutmeg and mixed spice together. Add in the water, beaten egg and melted butter and knead this mixture until elastic, around 7-8 minutes or so.

Step 2b - Thermomix directions: add the flour, sugar, yeast, cinnamon, nutmeg, mixed spice, water, beaten egg and melted butter into the Thermomix bowl and set to knead for 6-7 minutes.

Step 3 - Grease a large bowl and scoop the dough out shaping into a ball with no cracks on the top. Cover and allow to rise in a warm area for 1 hour or until triple in size.

Step 4a - Meanwhile make the custard. Whisk the sugar, cornflour, egg and vanilla together. Add the milk to a small saucepan and heat until almost boiling. Add a third of the boiled milk to the egg mixture to temper it and whisk it in. Then add the rest of the milk and place back in the saucepan and allow to thicken on low heat stirring occasionally with a flat bottomed spatula so that it doesn't stick.

Step 4b- Thermomix directions: Add the milk, sugar, cornflour, egg and vanilla into the bowl and set to 10 minutes, speed #3 and 90C.

Step 6 - Drain the sultanas from the port (there shouldn't be much liquid left as it should have mostly absorbed). Punch down the dough and knead in the salt.

Giant Hot Cross Bun Scroll
Covering dough with the custard

Giant Hot Cross Bun Scroll
Cutting the dough into strips

Step 7 - Have a large 30cm/12 inch round tray ready and spray with oil. Punch down the dough and knead in the salt. Flour a large surface and roll out the dough to a 50x30cms/20x12inch rectangle. Spread with the custard and the drained sultanas. Slice the dough into 1 inch strips with a pizza cutter. I usually don't use the two end pieces as they aren't complete strips.

Giant Hot Cross Bun Scroll
Rolling up the strips into a coil

Giant Hot Cross Bun Scroll

Then once you can't add more strips to the rolling coil as it gets heavy, cut the strips of dough in half and add these to the coil

Step 8 -Start by rolling up a strip into a coil. Then keep adding more strips to the large coil. There will get to a point where you can't add more strips, around halfway through the dough. At that time place the coil in the centre of the greased tray and cut the remaining strips in half. Lift up the dough strips and press them against the coil. Don't worry if the sultanas drop off, just gently slide them back in.

Step 9 - Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Cover with parchment and allow to rise for 30-45 minutes until puffy. If the centre rises too much gently push it down. Brush with egg wash and bake for 20 minutes. Cover with greased foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes. Brush with apricot jam with cool completely.

Giant Hot Cross Bun Scroll
An excess can be made into individual scrolls

Step 10 - To make the cross, place the icing sugar in a food processor and blend until there are no lumps. Then add the cream and butter and process until smooth and pipeable (not too stiff, not runny). Pipe over the scroll when completely cool (otherwise the cross with melt).

Giant Hot Cross Bun Scroll

Giant Hot Cross Bun Scroll

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