Oh boy do I have a treat for you. As Good Friday is tomorrow I decided to create one more Easter recipe, a twist on the traditional Hot Cross Buns that we all love to eat this time of year. May I present my Ginger Date Hot Cross Buns!
Having been sent some medjool dates from The Medjool Date Co. I wanted to incorporate them into different recipes. So in a moment of inspiration today I decided to use them in these Ginger Date Hot Cross Buns. How glad am I, that I had that moment of inspiration!
Now there are dates and there are medjool dates from Jordan. Once you have tried these medjool dates it is impossible to use any others – well for me it is! Big, sweet, but not tooth achingly so, good for you and they taste amazing. While I have been cooking and baking with them a few,
maybe more than a few have been eaten along the way.
Creating A New Recipe
Knowing I had ordered some stem ginger in syrup from Waitrose a couple of weeks ago, instead of opting for crystallised ginger, I used their stem ginger. Finely diced it is the only ginger in the Ginger Date Hot Cross Buns. Using warm syrup from the stem ginger jar, to glaze the buns, still hot from the oven is the final touch.
These Ginger Date Hot Cross Buns are so utterly delicious eaten just as they are, sliced and buttered, or toasted and buttered. They make a fantastic alternative to traditional Hot Cross Buns and are great for those who dislike raisins/sultanas, or cinnamon.
I love baking our own hot cross buns for Good Friday. We always have them toasted, with butter and large cups of tea or coffee. For our family it is the start of Easter. The day we remember that Jesus Christ gave His life for us all on the cross at Calvery. In fact I’ve always wondered why it is called Good Friday? As truly thinking about what Jesus went through, for me, brings me to a place of deep conviction – please see Important Stuff if you’d like to know more.
Recipe: Makes 12 Ginger Date Hot Cross Buns
500g/1lb 2oz Strong White Bread Flour
140ml/scant 5fl oz Whole Milk – slightly warmed (body temperature)
120ml/4.5fl oz Water – slightly warmed (body temperature)
2 Large Eggs – I use free range
10g/1.5 Sachet Fast Acting Dried Yeast
10g sea salt – I use Maldon
50g/2oz Unsalted Butter at room temperature
150g/5oz Medjool Dates – pitted and chopped to medium dice
2 Balls of Stem Ginger – removed from the syrup and finely diced
1/2tsp Freshly Grated Nutmeg
For the crosses:
50g/2oz Plain white flour
50ml/2fl oz Water
Approx 30mls of syrup from the stem ginger jar to glaze the baked buns
This method is for use with a bread maker or stand mixer, if you wish to make by hand, I suggest you look to the original recipe in Paul Hollywood’s book ‘How to Bake’ ISBN 9781 4088 19494.
Making The Spiced Sweet Bun Dough
The ‘bowl’ refers to the bowl of a stand mixer or the mixing compartment of a bread maker.
- Add both the milk and water to the bowl.
- Next add both eggs, the honey and yeast.
- Swish about with clean fingers to mix.
- Now add the flour on top of the liquid mixture.
- Place the salt and butter on top of the flour.
For a bread maker, set the cycle to dough and press start. When prompted by the machine, or 5 minutes before mixing stops, add the chopped dates, finely diced stem ginger and nutmeg. Allow the bread maker to complete the dough cycle.
When the bread maker has completed the dough cycle, ensure the dough has doubled in size, if not wait until it has. Then re start the dough cycle for 2 minutes, this will ‘knock back’ the dough for you.
For a stand mixer attach the dough hook. Start mixing on a low speed. Once the contents of the bowl resemble dough continue to mix on medium/slow speed for 5 minutes. Stop the mixer. Scrape all the dough, from the hook, into the bowl. Add the chopped dates, finely diced stem ginger and nutmeg . Lower the dough hook and mix on medium speed for a further 5 minutes.
After the 5 minutes mixing is complete, stop the mixer. Scrape all the dough back into the bowl, it will be very sticky – don’t worry. Cover with a damp cloth and leave in a draught free place until doubled in size – 1 – 1 1/2 hours.
Once the stand mixer dough has doubled in size, lower the dough hook and mix on medium speed for 2 minutes, this will ‘knock back’ the dough for you.
Shaping the Ginger Date Hot Cross Buns
see Hot Cross Buns for full step by step photos.
- First of all grease a large baking tray with butter.
- Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.
- It will be quite sticky, so ensure you have floured your hands well.
- Cut the dough in half and then cut each half into 6 even pieces.
- Shape each piece into a ball and place on the baking tray – the dough was very sticky so some of my balls weren’t perfect!
- When all 12 buns have been shaped, cover the baking tray with a clean tea towel.
- Leave the buns in a warm, draught free place, until doubled in size.
- While the buns are proving, make the flour paste for the crosses. Add the water to the flour and mix until you have a smooth paste.
- Place in a small, disposable piping bag and secure the top with an elastic band.
- 10 minutes before the buns are ready to bake preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan, gas mark 7, 425F.
- Snip the end off the piping bag, so there is a small hole.
- Pipe down the line of buns and then across the line of buns.
Baking And Adding A Glaze To The Buns
- Place the Ginger Date Hot Cross Buns into the middle of the oven and bake for 20 minutes. They are baked when they are golden brown and sound hollow when rapped on the base with your knuckle.
- As soon as the buns are baked remove from the oven.
- Take the buns off of the baking tray and place onto a cooling rack.
- Remove approx 30mls of syrup from the stem ginger jar.
- Place into a microwaveable bowl and heat for 20 seconds.
- Brush the warm syrup over the buns whilst they are still hot.
- Leave to cool until at least warm.
Biting into my very first, warm, Ginger Date Hot Cross Bun is an experience I will never forget!
So tomorrow morning on Good Friday, we have a choice of traditional Hot CrossBuns which I also baked today, or these delicious Ginger Date Hot Cross Buns.
Breakfast will truly be a feast, as much as making these has been fun!
If you’ve enjoyed these Easter Ginger Date Hot Cross Buns you may also want to try these other recipes:
Whatever you make or bake this Easter, I wish you a very happy time. I love seeing your bakes, so please pop a pic onto Twitter or Instagram and tag me in.