Hot cross buns

Recipe by:

The perfect Easter delight, enjoy hot cross buns in their classic form or as a loaf or a tear and share - try toasted with butter and jam

Hot cross buns

SERVES

22

PEOPLE

PREP TIME

20

MINUTES

COOKING TIME

15

MINUTES

CUISINE

COURSE

Baking

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 220ºC.

  2. For the bun wash, put 600ml water and 450g sugar into a pan and boil for 2 minutes. Brush over the buns as soon as they come out of the oven to give them a sweet, sticky glaze. This makes a large quantity of bun wash but it keeps very well.

  3. To make the hot cross buns, dissolve the yeast with 1 tablespoon of the sugar in a little tepid milk.

  4. Put the flour into a bowl, rub in the butter, add the cinnamon, nutmeg, mixed spice, a pinch of salt and the remainder of the sugar. Mix well. Whisk the eggs and add to the milk. Make a well in the centre of the flour, add the yeast and most of the liquid and mix to a soft dough, adding a little more milk if necessary.

  5. Cover and leave to rest for 2 or 3 minutes then knead by hand or in a food processor until smooth. Add the currants, sultanas and mixed peel and continue to knead until the dough is shiny. Cover the bowl and let the dough rise in a warm place until it doubles in size.

  6. 'Knock back', by kneading for 3 or 4 minutes, rest for a few minutes. Divide the mixture into 14 balls, each weighing about 50g. Knead each slightly and shape into buns. Place on a lightly-floured tray. Egg wash and leave to rise.

  7. If using shortcrust, arrange a cross of pastry on each one. Leave to rise until double in size. Then egg wash a second time carefully.

  8. We tend to decorate with what we call a 'liquid cross'. To make this, mix the flour, melted butter and water together to form a thick liquid. Fill into a paper piping bag and pipe a liquid cross on top of each bun.

  9. Bake for five minutes and then reduce the heat to 200ºC for a further 10 minutes or until golden. Leave to cool on a wire rack. Split in two and serve with butter.

  10. Alternatively, brush each one with bun wash while still warm.

  11. To make a hot cross bun loaf: Brush the bottom and sides of the loaf tin (13x20cm (5x8inch)) with oil. Make the dough in the usual way — knock back. Roll 8 50g balls of dough and arrange in the tin. Egg wash, cover and allow to rise for 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 230°C, just before baking brush with egg wash, pipe a liquid cross on each bun. Bake for 10 minutes at 230°C reduce temperature to 190°C for a further 10-15 minutes. Remove from the oven, paint with the bun wash. Cool on a wire rack and pull apart and eat slathered in butter.

  12. To make a hot cross bun tear and share: Brush the base and sides of a 23cm round spring form tin with oil. Arrange 12-14, 50g balls of dough almost side by side in the tin, egg wash and allow to rise in a warm place until double in size. Egg wash again, pipe a liquid cross onto the top of each bun. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, reduce the temperature to 190°C for a further 10-15 minutes. Remove from the oven and brush with bun wash while still warm. Cool on a wire rack.

Ingredients

  • 25g fresh yeast

  • 110g caster sugar

  • 450g baker's flour

  • 75g butter

  • ¼ tsp cinnamon

  • ¼ tsp nutmeg

  • 2-3 tsp mixed spice

  • 1 level tsp salt (important)

  • 2 eggs

  • 225-300ml tepid milk

  • 75g currants

  • 50g sultanas

  • 25g candied peel, chopped

  • milk

  • sugar

  • 1 egg yolk

  • For the liquid cross:

  • 50g plain flour

  • 1 tbsp butter, melted

  • 4-5 tbsp cold water

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 220ºC.

  2. For the bun wash, put 600ml water and 450g sugar into a pan and boil for 2 minutes. Brush over the buns as soon as they come out of the oven to give them a sweet, sticky glaze. This makes a large quantity of bun wash but it keeps very well.

  3. To make the hot cross buns, dissolve the yeast with 1 tablespoon of the sugar in a little tepid milk.

  4. Put the flour into a bowl, rub in the butter, add the cinnamon, nutmeg, mixed spice, a pinch of salt and the remainder of the sugar. Mix well. Whisk the eggs and add to the milk. Make a well in the centre of the flour, add the yeast and most of the liquid and mix to a soft dough, adding a little more milk if necessary.

  5. Cover and leave to rest for 2 or 3 minutes then knead by hand or in a food processor until smooth. Add the currants, sultanas and mixed peel and continue to knead until the dough is shiny. Cover the bowl and let the dough rise in a warm place until it doubles in size.

  6. 'Knock back', by kneading for 3 or 4 minutes, rest for a few minutes. Divide the mixture into 14 balls, each weighing about 50g. Knead each slightly and shape into buns. Place on a lightly-floured tray. Egg wash and leave to rise.

  7. If using shortcrust, arrange a cross of pastry on each one. Leave to rise until double in size. Then egg wash a second time carefully.

  8. We tend to decorate with what we call a 'liquid cross'. To make this, mix the flour, melted butter and water together to form a thick liquid. Fill into a paper piping bag and pipe a liquid cross on top of each bun.

  9. Bake for five minutes and then reduce the heat to 200ºC for a further 10 minutes or until golden. Leave to cool on a wire rack. Split in two and serve with butter.

  10. Alternatively, brush each one with bun wash while still warm.

  11. To make a hot cross bun loaf: Brush the bottom and sides of the loaf tin (13x20cm (5x8inch)) with oil. Make the dough in the usual way — knock back. Roll 8 50g balls of dough and arrange in the tin. Egg wash, cover and allow to rise for 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 230°C, just before baking brush with egg wash, pipe a liquid cross on each bun. Bake for 10 minutes at 230°C reduce temperature to 190°C for a further 10-15 minutes. Remove from the oven, paint with the bun wash. Cool on a wire rack and pull apart and eat slathered in butter.

  12. To make a hot cross bun tear and share: Brush the base and sides of a 23cm round spring form tin with oil. Arrange 12-14, 50g balls of dough almost side by side in the tin, egg wash and allow to rise in a warm place until double in size. Egg wash again, pipe a liquid cross onto the top of each bun. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, reduce the temperature to 190°C for a further 10-15 minutes. Remove from the oven and brush with bun wash while still warm. Cool on a wire rack.