It’s almost Easter and if you feel adventurous, prepare your own fluffy, soft hot cross buns? Baking them in your own kitchen will fill your home with the delightful flavour of these special buns coming fresh out of the oven.
This recipe is enough for eight delicious buns. However, you can double or triple the ingredient quantities to prepare more of these tasty delicacies.
TIPS TO GET YOUR HOT CROSS BUNS IRRESISTIBLE
If you want to add some spice to the buns, try adding some dried fruit to this traditional Easter recipe. Chopped dried apricots, cranberries, cherries or dates will provide a unique flavour. They serve as a great substitute for the currants and chopped peel. You can even prepare a variety of different flavoured buns to jazz things up a little.
To get an extra shiny glaze on the buns, brush the cooked, cooled bun with a light sugar syrup instead of the milk glaze. The glistening glaze will make the buns even more appetising.
Enjoy Easter with your own homemade hot cross buns.
For the buns
- 100 ml milk
- 10 g fresh yeast
- 2 tablespoons water
- 30 g castor sugar
- 1 egg
- 250 g strong plain flour, plus extra to dust
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2-3 teaspoons ground mixed spice
- 40 g butter, at room temperature
- oil, to grease
- 50 g currants
- 1 tablespoon chopped mixed peel
For the crosses and glaze
- 50 g plain flour
- pinch of baking powder
- 2 teaspoons oil
- 15-30 ml milk
- 1 teaspoon castor sugar
- Pour the milk into a saucepan and bring to scalding point over a medium heat, then remove from the heat and leave to cool to tepid, about 38°C.
- In a small bowl, mix the yeast with the water and ½ teaspoon of the sugar to create a loose paste. Beat the egg and add it to the yeast mixture.
- Put the flour, salt and mixed spice in a large bowl. Cut the butter into cubes and rub it into the flour with your fingertips. Stir in the remaining sugar.
- Make a well in the centre and pour in the yeast mixture and three-quarters of the milk, making sure all the yeast is scraped into the well. Stir with a cutlery knife, then with your fingers, adding enough of the reserved milk to make a soft but not sticky dough.
- Tip the dough out onto a very lightly floured surface and knead for about 8–10 minutes until smooth and elastic, using as little extra flour on the work surface as possible.
- Place the dough in a very lightly oiled bowl and cover with lightly oiled cling film or a damp tea towel. Leave in a warm place to rise for about 1½ hours until doubled in size.
- Transfer the risen dough to the work surface and knock it back, kneading for 2–3 minutes and adding in the currants and peel (trying to keep the currants and pieces of peel whole).
- Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces, shape it into rolls and place about 2cm apart on a large, oiled baking sheet. Flatten each slightly with the palm of your hand, then cover with oiled cling film and leave to prove until doubled in size. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6.
Crosses and glaze
- To make the crosses, sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl. Stir in the oil and enough cold water to make a thick but pipe-able paste. Put into a piping bag fitted with a 5mm nozzle. Once the buns have risen, mix the milk with the sugar and use to lightly brush the buns. Using a sharp knife, cut a shallow 1mm deep cross in the top of each bun and pipe a cross on top.
- Bake in the oven for 15 minutes then brush the buns again with the sweetened milk and return to the oven for 5 minutes, or until golden brown. They should feel light and sound hollow when tapped on the base. Transfer to a wire rack to cool and serve fresh with butter, or split in half and toasted.