Between Good Friday and Easter Sunday I thought this was an appropriate recipe to post. I love hot cross buns. Fruity spicy things always appeal to me and I’d most definitely rather have one of these than a crème egg. You’ve probably been eating them for months but if you’re looking to try something new this weekend give them a go. Like a lighter scone, they’re perfect for breakfast, an afternoon pick me up, or an after dinner treat.
For the buns
- 300ml/ whole milk
- 50g butter
- 500g strong white flour
- 2 sticks cinnamon
- Cardamom pods
- 75g caster sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 7g sachet fast-action yeast
- 1 egg beaten
- 200g dried fruit e.g. sultanas (I used a mix of currants, raisings and sultanas)
- 100g mixed peel
- 1 apple, cored and chopped
- 2 oranges, zest only
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp mace
- 1tsp nutmeg
- ½ tsp ginger
For the cross
- 50g plain flour
- 75g icing sugar
- Apricot jam (to glaze)
To make the buns:
Heat the milk gently, bringing it to the boil;
- I like using a lot of spices when I cook so I infused my milk with some cardamom, cinnamon and cloves, you could also add some saffron.
Remove the milk from the heat and add the butter, stirring it in as it melts.
Allow to cool to hand temperature.
While that’s cooling mix zest your oranges and chop up the apple, put it all in a bowl with the mixed peel and dried fruit and spices (again, I like spices so added the mace, ginger and nutmeg, you could just leave it at cinnamon)
Put your dry ingredients, yeast, flour, salt and sugar, in a bowl.
Make a well in the centre and pour in the warm milk then add the egg.
Mix together to form a soft sticky dough, bring the dough together with your hands and knead on a lightly floured surface for about 5 minutes or until it’s smooth and elastic.
Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with oiled clingfilm, leave to rise for an hour or until doubled in size.
**Tip – leave your dough in a warm part of the kitchen as this will help the process**
Roll the pieces into smooth balls and arrange them on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper. Leave to prove for an hour.
The buns should be quite close together, they’ll stick together a little bit when backing but pulling apart the soft edges is so satisfying and makes them look all the more rustic.
Heat the oven to 220C
To make the cross mix 50g plain flour and 25g of icing sugar with some water until it forms a smooth paste.
Put the paste in a piping bag and pipe a cross onto each of your buns before placing in the oven for 20 – 25 minutes or until golden brown.
Gently warm the apricot jam and when the buns come out of the oven, while they’re still warm, brush it over for a lovely glazed effect.
Let them cool or eat them warm. I had mine for breakfast, toasted and topped with plenty of butter. Delicious.