Surely every culture has their own version of sweet buns with raisins or currants in them. The ones I love are the sticky English hot cross buns and the good old Dutch “krentenbol”. Since neither are available at my current place of residence, I thought I´d try my hand at making them myself.
They turned out lovely, warm, golden, sweet with raisins and a soft sweetness that went down well with the whole family. The recipe is adapted from Leith´s Baking Bible.
Makes 16 buns
200 gram full fat milk
20 gram yeast
60 gram castor sugar
450 gram strong white flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
90 gram butter
120 gram raisins or currants
2 tablespoons condensed milk
1. Heat the milk until boiling point and then leave to cool.
2. Once the milk is warm (but not hot anymore), skim and set aside.
3. In a small bowl, mix 2 tablespoons of the warm milk with the sugar and stir in yeast until fully dissolved.
4. Sift the flour with the cinnamon in a large bowl and add the butter and remaining sugar.
5. Mix together before adding the yeast mixture, the eggs and the warm milk. Keep a little warm milk to check the dough: it should come together and be soft, yet not sticky. If too dry, you can always add the remainder.
6. Knead until you have a lovely soft and smooth dough.
7. Lightly oil the mixing bowl and turn the dough to coat. Cover the bowl with oiled clingfilm and leave to rise for 1.5 to 2 hours (until about double in size – look for a nice, warm place).
8. Once the dough has risen, heat the oven to 200 degrees.
9. Slightly knead the dough before rolling out to a large square.
10. Sprinkle the raisins or currants over the dough, ensuring an even coverage.
11. Divide the dough into 16 equal pieces and shape them into balls between your hands.
12. Place these balls slightly apart on a baking tray and cover once again with oiled clingfilm. Leave to rise again until doubled in size (about 20 to 30 minutes).
13. Brush the tops of the buns with a little condensed milk and bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
14. Take the buns out of the oven and brush once again with condensed milk. Put them back in the oven for another 3 minutes.
15. Cool on a wire rack and enjoy!
NB: You can also store the buns in the freezer and thaw and toast a few of them when the fancy strikes.