Hot Cross Buns

Traditional Hot Cross Buns

Yield: 12

Prep Time:1 hour 40 minutes

Cook Time:8 minutes

These Hot Cross Buns are spiced with a sticky glaze and a traditional pastry cross. A traditional Easter classic British recipe which can be served any time of the year.

Ingredients:

Buns

  • 450g strong bread flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground mixed spice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 50g unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 50g light brown sugar
  • 7g (1 sachet) fast-acting yeast
  • 1 egg
  • 210ml milk
  • 125g dried mixed fruit

Pastry Crosses

  • 2 tbsp plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 2 tbsp cold water

Glaze

  • 1 tbsp golden syrup (or corn syrup), gently heated, for glazing

Directions:

  1. To make the buns: Sieve the flour, salt, ground mixed spice and cinnamon into a large mixing bowl, then rub in the butter using your fingertips. Try to keep the air in the mixture when rubbing the butter in. Make a well in the centre of the mixture, then add the sugar and the yeast.
  2. Beat the egg and add to the mixture with the tepid milk. Mix together to form a soft, pliable dough.
  3. Onto a lightly floured surface, turn the dough out and carefully work the mixed dried fruit into the dough until well combined. Lightly need for 5 minutes, or until smooth and elastic.
  4. Grease a large mixing bowl with butter or oil then shape the dough into a ball and place into the prepared bowl, cover with a clean tea (dish) towel and set aside in a warm place to prove for 1 hour.
  5. Turn out the proved dough again onto a lightly floured surface and knock back the dough. Re-shape into a bowl again and return it to the bowl, covering again for a 30 minutes to rise.
  6. Once risen, turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 12 equal pieces, rolling each into a ball, then slightly flatten into a bun shape. Cover the buns again with the tea towel and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes.
  7. Grease or oil a baking tray and transfer the buns to the tray then wrap the tray with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place for a further 40 minutes to rise. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 240°C/475°F/Gas Mark 8.
  8. To make the pastry crosses: Mix the plain (all-purpose) flour with 2 tbsp of cold water to form a smooth paste.
  9. When the buns have risen, remove the plastic wrap completely and either spoon or pipe the pastry cross mixture making a cross on each bun.
  10. Bake the buns for 8-10 minutes, or until a pale golden brown.
  11. To make the glaze: Once the hot cross buns are almost baked, gently heat the syrup in a small microwave safe bowl in 10-second bursts until gently heated and more fluid. Glaze the buns generously with a pastry brush as soon as they’re removed from the oven with the heated syrup.
  12. Set aside to cool on a wire rack. Serve warm, cold, or toasted with butter and if desired, jam and cream.

Notes:

For my Hot Cross Buns, I decided to use half sultanas (sweet green raisins) and half currants for my dried fruit as I love the extra sweetness and fruitiness of the sultanas, and do not like mixed peel in my Hot Cross Buns. However, you can substitute your dried fruit as you wish - adding some nuts and different fruits.

Tips:

Problems rising? Try these methods:

  • If you've recently used your laundry drier, try placing your Hot Cross Buns in the warm drier for a faster rise and prove. This can also work if your microwave is warm too.
  • If your oven has a bread or lower temperature setting, use that to rise and prove. My oven temperature has a bread rising temperature of 40°C/104°F.
  • Try boiling the kettle and fill up a large bowl with boiling water, then place it in a confined space (such as the microwave or oven). The heat and steam from the water should be enough to get the yeast activated.

Adapted Food.com's bread maker recipe to traditional oven baking.