Hot Cross Buns
May 4, 2020
Hot Cross Buns are very popular in Britain at Easter. They are eaten at the end of lent on Good Friday. You can read the history of Hot Cross Buns here. They are widely available in the stores in England but the home made version is so much better. Do not be put off working with yeast if you are not used to it this recipe is easy to do. They are a delicious fruit bun and can be made all year round not just at Easter. On Valentines pipe a heart on them, For St. Patrick’s day pipe a shamrock and my favorite outside of Easter is Christmas, pipe a snowflake. The fruity spicy buns are perfect for the cold weather with apple cider.
Here is the recipe.
- 310ml warm milk (43 degrees C, 110 F)
- 60g.2.25Ozs fine sugar
- 2 (7g) sachets dried active dried yeast
- 600g/3 cups/plain flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 60g/2.25 Ozs butter
- 250g raisins or sultanas (I prefer white raisins they are more succulent)
- 2 eggs
Prep:15min › Cook:25min › Extra time:1hr proofing › Ready in:1hr40min
For the buns:
- In a bowl, whisk together the milk, sugar and yeast until all the sugar has dissolved. Cover and set aside until the yeast has activated and the mixture has become frothy.
- In a large bowl sift together the flour, salt, cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg. With your fingers rub in the butter until the result looks like fine breadcrumbs.
- Stir into the flour mixture the raisins, eggs and frothy yeast then mix until all are combined. Bring the mixture together into a dough.
- On a lightly floured surface knead the dough for about 5 minutes until smooth and elastic. Transfer dough to a large lightly oiled bowl then cover with cling film and leave in a warm place for 45 minutes to prove or until the dough has doubled in size. I have an oven on my microwave. I heat it for 5 mins or so at 200 then I use this as a warm proving place. It works really well.
- Remove the risen dough from the bowl and knock it back with your fist. Slightly knead then either divide into 12 buns from each section. You should have 12 buns total.
- Preheat the oven to 200 C / 400F. Grease a 20x30cm deep cake tin.
- Place the buns neatly in rows into the prepared baking tin; cover with cling film then leave in a warm place to rise for 15 minutes. By now the oven should be heated so I just leave on top of the stove.
For the crosses and glaze:
- Whisk together the flour and water to form a smooth paste. Transfer to a piping bag, then carefully pipe a cross onto the top of each bun. Use the slightly larger pipe for straight lines not the smallest once.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 180 C / 370F and bake for a further 15 minutes until risen and golden. This is key to getting nice golden crust. Use a timer.
- Straight after removing the buns from the oven brush with the warmed apricot jam and serve.