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Mainland releases 'Cheesy Hot Cross Buns' recipe

Mainland releases 'Cheesy Hot Cross Buns' recipe

'Delicious Twist’ Or Travesty'?

Dairy company Mainland has released a recipe for ‘Cheesy Hot Cross Buns’, calling it a tasty alternative to the beloved Easter treat. 

“Hot Cross Buns are a family favourite at Easter and we think you’d agree that these cheesy hot cross buns are a delicious twist on a classic,” they write at the top of the recipe. 

Such a drastic change to a staple dish can be somewhat controversial - ‘If it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ I’m sure many will say when they hear the news. Fair enough, the hot cross bun is undoubtedly one of the greatest holiday-related snacks out there. 

But why not shake things up a little? If greatness can be improved, in a quest to graze on perfection, shouldn’t we do all we can to achieve that refinement? If that advancement comes from Parmesan and Tasty cheese being mixed into a perfectly fine dough, then so be it. 

If you believe the hot cross bun in its current rendition is perfect, read no longer. If you want to push the limits of human culinary greatness, then I present to you Mainland’s recipe for ‘Cheesy Hot Cross Buns’. 

For the DOUGH, you will need:
- 375ml milk
- 10 grams active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 650 grams plain flour
- pinch of flaky sea salt
- 1 free-range egg, lightly beaten
- 100 grams of unsalted butter, softened
- 125 grams Tasty cheese
- 50 grams Parmesan cheese, grated
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives

For the CROSS PASTE, you will need:
- ⅓ cup self-raising flour
- ¼ cup cold water

1. Heat the milk in a jug until lukewarm but not hot. Add the yeast and sugar, mix well and set aside for 10 minutes so the yeast can activate. (You’ll see it start to froth and bubble.)

2. Place the flour and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook and mix until combined.

3. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and pour in the activated yeast/milk mixture and the beaten egg.

4. Turn the mixer on to the lowest setting and start to combine all the ingredients, then increase the speed and mix until all the flour is incorporated. Start adding the softened butter a little at a time while continuing to mix, until all the butter is mixed into the dough.

5. Beat the dough for 10 minutes on a medium speed or until it starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl and becomes glossy. You may need to scrape down the mixer bowl once or twice during this process.

6. Add the Mainland Grated Cheeses and chives to the dough and mix again for a minute or two until well combined. Tip the dough into a large greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and leave in a warm place to prove. (The dough will double in size in 1-1.5 hours.)

7. Once the dough has doubled, punch it back down, tip it onto a board and knead back into a ball.

8. Shape the dough into a log and divide into 12 even portions.

9. Roll each portion into a ball and place them several centimetres apart (they’re going to double in size again) on a baking tray lined with non-stick paper.

10. Cover the tray with plastic wrap and leave in a warm spot to prove for 1 hour, until they have doubled in size.

11. Preheat your oven to 175°C.

12. Remove the plastic wrap from the tray and use a very sharp knife to make crosses on the top of each bun.

13. Cross Paste: Mix the self-raising flour and water to a smooth paste. Scrape into a small piping bag (or use a zip-lock bag with a corner cut off), and pipe crosses onto each bun.

14. Place in the oven for 25-30 minutes until risen and golden.

15. Remove from the oven and brush the buns with a little melted Mainland Butter to give them a lovely shine.

If you do give these a go, PLEASE tell us what they were like!