Bacon Hot Cross Buns

👨🏽‍🍳 Sam Parish
Prep time: 45 minutes | Cook time: 25 minutes | Makes: 12

Ultimate Bun Base
1 ⅔ (250g) baker's flour
½ cup (50g) milk powder
¼ tsp dried yeast
⅓ cup (80mL) maple syrup
200mL water

Hot Cross Buns
1 ⅔ (250g) baker's flour
1 egg
100g Ashgrove Traditional Farmhouse Butter
⅓ cup (70g) Ashgrove Signature Onion Jam
1 tbsp Ashgrove Signature Farmer's Mustard
2 tbsp finely chopped sage & chives
200g streaky bacon - 50g finely chopped, 150g cut into even strips
200g Ashgrove Havarti, coarsely grated
½ cup maple syrup

1. For the base, combine all ingredients, cover with plastic wrap and stand in a cool, dark place for 12 hours to double in size.

2. To make the complete hot cross buns, lightly dust a baking tray with flour. Place ultimate bun base in a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Add flour, egg, butter, onion jam, mustard, chopped sage, chives, finely chopped bacon, half the havarti and 1 tsp each salt flakes and cracked black pepper, and knead for 8 minutes or until mixture forms a ball.

3. Transfer to a lightly floured work surface. Divide into 12 even pieces and, using the palm of your hand, roll into tight balls. Transfer to prepared tray, spaced 5mm apart, and cover with a clean damp tea towel. Set aside for 1 hour to rise slightly.

4. Preheat the oven to 200°C.

5. Splash a little water into oven to create steam (this helps buns expand before forming a crust), then bake for 20 minutes or until golden. Scatter buns with remaining 100g cheese and use bacon strips to make crosses on top, overlapping slightly. Bake for 5 minutes or until bacon is crispy.

6. Meanwhile, bring maple syrup to the boil over high heat. Keep warm. Remove buns from oven, brush with maple syrup and set aside to cool for 30 minutes before serving.

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