Hot Cross Buns are a very special treat once-a-year for Good Friday but over the years the ones available from supermarkets have become more and more disappointing and more and more expensive so why not have a go at making your own?
This recipe is really easy and full of the traditional flavours; spices, candied peel, dried fruits but if you fancy something a little different it is really easy to change the flavours – chocolate chips and orange or cranberries and white chocolate…there are so many good combinations!
- 900 g (2 lb) Strong Bread Flour
- 100 g (4 oz) Caster Sugar
- 2 teaspoons Salt
- 2 teaspoons Cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon Mixed Spice
- 20 g (¾ oz) Easy-blend Dried Yeast
- 100 g (4 oz) Mixed Dried Fruit
- 50 g (2 oz) Candied Peel - optional
- 2 Eggs - beaten
- 100 g (4 oz) Butter or Block Margarine - melted and cooled
- 225 ml (8 fl oz) Tepid Water
- 225 ml (8 fl oz) Tepid Milk
- 4 tablespoons Plain Flour
- 1 tablespoon Caster Sugar
- 3-4 tablespoons Water
- 2 tablespoons Sugar (Granulated)
- 2 tablespoons Water
- Combine all of the dried ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add the beaten eggs, melted and cooled butter, milk and water and mix together to form a soft dough.
- If you are using a mixer, use a dough hook to knead the dough for about 5-8 mins. If you haven't got a Kenwood type mixer then it will take a bit longer to knead the dough by hand, until the dough is elastic and no longer sticky.
- Form the kneaded dough into a ball and place back into the mixing bowl. Cover with a damp tea towel and leave to rise until doubled in size. (takes about 1 - 1½ hours).
- Knock back the dough and divide into 18 buns shaping each one into a smooth round ball.. Place on 2 greased baking trays, cover with the tea towel and leave to rise again.
- When the buns are risen it is time to add the crosses!
- Mix together the plain flour and caster sugar and add enough water to make a smooth paste. Use a piping bag and nozzle to pipe the crosses onto the buns of if you don't have a piping bag you can make a fair attempt at crosses by just spooning the paste onto the buns - it may not look quite as neat but it is good enough!
- Bake the buns in the centre of the oven for about 10-15 minutes. The cook and brown quickly so do keep an eye on them! You may need to turn the trays and swap them on the oven shelves to facilitate even cooking and maybe even remove the outer buns as they cook and return the rest to the oven to brown and cook thoroughly.
- 5 Minutes before the buns have finished cooking, mix together the sugar and water in a small saucepan and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil then simmer for 1 minute to form the syrupy glaze. Brush on top of the buns as soon as they come out of the oven for a nice sweet and sticky finish!
If 18 buns is too many (really? just think of them toasted and dripping with butter!) then it is simple to cut the recipe in half and just make 9 or 10 buns.
These fruity buns are so good it’s a shame to only make them once a year so we make them without the crosses all through the year!!