Breads

Hot Cross Buns

It’s Easter, which means it’s time to crack out the Hot Cross Bun recipe.

Slightly toasted with a layer of jam on top – heaven!

However, as with all homemade breads, these don’t last too long and will feel quite hard after a day or two. You can still eat them, just heat them up in the microwave for about 30 seconds first!

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Makes 15 buns

Ingredients:

  • 500g strong white flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 sachet (7g) of fast action dried yeast
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 heaped tsp mixed spice
  • 300ml whole or semi-skimmed milk
  • 40g unsalted butter
  • 1 egg
  • 80g mixed peel
  • 150g sultanas
  • 1 orange, zested

Crosses:

  • 75g plain flour
  • 75ml cold water
  • Piping bag

Glaze:

  • 75g apricot jam

 

Method:

  1. Place the flour, salt, yeast, sugar, cinnamon and mixed spice in a large bowl and mix together.
  2. Gently warm the milk and butter until the butter is melted. Do this on a very low heat – you should be able to hold your finger in the milk. Add the egg and whisk.
  3. Gradually add the milk mixture to the dry ingredients and mix until it comes together and is sticking to your hand.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface (don’t be tempted to add more flour here) and knead for around 15 minutes until the dough stops sticking to your hand. Grease a large bowl with butter, place the dough inside and cover with clingfilm. Prove for around an hour to an hour and a half, until the dough has doubled in size.
  5. Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and add the sultanas, mixed peel and orange zest. Knead the dough until all the ingredients are thoroughly incorporated. Divide the dough into 15 individual buns that weigh around 75g each. Form the bun by holding the dough in the palm of your hand and placing onto a dry worktop. Make quick circular motions with your hand for about 10-15 seconds, rolling the dough continuously in your palm. Poke any stray sultanas inside the dough (any sultanas on the surface of the buns will burn) and place the buns on two baking trays lined with baking paper, giving them a little bit of room to prove. Cover loosely and prove for around 30 minutes. Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC.
  6. To make the crosses, mix together the flour and water until it forms quite a thick paste that doesn’t run too much. Spoon into a piping bag and snip off a medium-sized opening. Once the buns have proved, pipe two long lines across the length of the two rows of buns and then 4 lines across the width of the buns to create the cross. Place on the middle oven shelf and bake for around 30 minutes until golden brown.
  7. While the buns are cooling on a cooling rack, gently heat the apricot jam with a splash of water until it is runny, sieve, then lightly spread across the warm buns with a pastry brush. Serve with jam and butter!

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