Surely there is little that cannot be improved by the addition of marzipan. As such, there is a whole wad of marzipan in the centre of these hot cross buns. Especially while the buns are still slightly warm, the marzipan is sticky and soft, and acts as a sort of built-in spread – though I think it’s best with some butter piled on top of the whole thing as well.
I thought I may as well post the recipe now, though I’ve made these buns at random non-Easter times of year. They have a great general holiday-ish vibe, not least in their resemblance to stollen.
I’ve used the same dough as in these whole wheat sourdough hot cross buns, but converted it back to instant yeast. Either dough will do depending on your preference. Again, no sugar is needed in the dough because there is more than enough to sufficiently sweeten the bun between the dried fruit, candied peel, glaze, and oh, did I mention, wad of marzipan?
marzipan-stuffed hot cross buns
- 85g dried fruit, about 1/3 each golden raisins, dark raisins and currants (or other fruit as per your preference)
- 40g dark rum
- 225g whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp instant yeast
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 large egg
- 130g whole milk
- 42g butter, softened
- 55g candied orange peel, chopped (you can find the recipe here)
- 120g marzipan (recipe below, or use storebought)
- 30g flour
- 32g water (may vary – start with a bit less)
- beaten egg, for egg wash
- 2 tsp water
- 2 tsp granulated sugar
- 1-2 drops almond extract, optional
The day before, prepare combine the dried fruit and dark rum in a small container or jar. Cover and let soak overnight.
The next day, prepare the dough. Stir together the flour, yeast, salt and spices. Add the 1 egg and milk, and stir until a dough is formed. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead a couple minutes until smooth. Knead in the butter, a small knob at a time. Now add the fruit – drain the dried fruit from the rum, and knead it, along with the candied peel, into the dough. At first it will feel like it all just keeps falling out, but keep at it, adding the pieces of fallen fruit back into the middle of the dough. Once the fruit is evenly distributed, transfer the dough to a bowl, cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours.
Meanwhile, divide the marzipan into eight 15g portions, and roll each into a ball. Line a baking tray with a piece of parchment paper.
Once the dough is risen, turn out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into eight pieces (each about 75g). Preshape each piece into a ball. Flatten a ball of dough and place a ball of marzipan in the centre. Pinch the dough to close around it, and roll into a tight ball (a helpful technique for this is to cup your hand over the ball of dough and move your hand in a small circular motion to help pull the surface of the dough more taut). Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough.
Space the balls of dough evenly on the prepared baking tray. Pick off any exposed pieces of dried fruit or peel as they will burn in the oven. Cover with plastic and let rise until well-puffed, about 1 hour. Near the end of the rise, preheat the oven to 350F.
To make the flour cross, whisk together the flour and water to form a thick, pipeable paste. Transfer to a piping bag with a fine round tip (I used one 2mm in diameter).
Brush the buns with eggwash. Pipe lines using the flour paste over the buns. Bake about 15-20 minutes or until nicely browned.
While the buns are baking, prepare the syrup by dissolving the granulated sugar into the boiling water. Add a couple drops of almond extract to mirror the marzipan taste. Brush over the hot buns, once they are baked and out from the oven. Let the buns cool on a wire rack. Eat, smothered with butter.
Makes 300g worth. Based on the Daring Gourmet.
- 120g finely ground almonds
- 160g icing sugar
- 2 tsp almond extract
- 1 tsp rosewater
- 1 large egg white
Grind the almonds and icing sugar together in the bowl of a food processor until fine and all the lumps are gone. Add the almond extract and rosewater and pulse to combine. Lastly, add the egg white and process until the marzipan forms a ball. Shape into a disc, wrap tightly in plastic and store in the fridge.