Recipe – Hot Cross Buns

A highlight of my Easter, I love hot cross buns. I like mine toasted and smothered in butter and jam. Just thinking about them makes me drool! Here’s my recipe, which takes a few hours with all he proving but is worth it for the soft, hot loveliness from the oven…

For 10-12 buns, you will need:

  • 540g strong white bread flour
  • 50g butter (melted)
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons fast acting dried yeast
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Half a grated nutmeg (around a half a teaspoon)
  • Pinch of ground mace
  • 100g raisins
  • 50g sultanas, or mixed dried peel if you like a more citrus flavour
  • Splash milk
  • 1 tablespoon marmalade
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour

Sift the strong bread flour into a large bowl and add the caster sugar, salt, yeast, spices and fruit, stir to combine. Add the melted butter, 1 beaten egg and 250ml tepid water. With your hands, combine well until you form a dough.

Kneed well on a floured surface for around ten minutes, then place in a large bowl, cover with cling film and rest in a warm place for an hour to double in size.

Take the dough and lock out the big bubbles with a gentle kneeding, cut the dough into 10 or 12 equal amounts, then make them into balls with your hands and place on a greeseproof sheet on a baking tray. Cover with a tea towel and leave in a warm room to prove a second time for at least 30 minutes. Pre-heat the oven to 190 degrees.

When ready for the oven, make the ‘crosses’ paste. Put the plain flour in a dish and add a few drops of water at a time, stirring until you have a very thick paste. In another bowl, beat the last egg and mix with the splash of milk. Use this to brush a glaze on the buns.

Put the flour paste in a small piping bag and pipe crosses over the glazed buns. If you don’t have a piping bag, make the paste just a little more runny with a few drops of water and dribble off a tea spoon onto the buns.

Place in the oven for 16-18 minutes until golden brown. When done, cool on a wire rack.

While they’re still hot, put the marmalade in a bowl and microwave for 30 seconds until it’s runny and bush over the top of the buns to give them a lovely sticky shine.

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