Saturday, March 30

Easter Hot Cross Buns

Sticky, squidgy, spicy, and hot.
That is how I like my buns.

Now don't let your dirty mind get carried away, I'm talking about these classic Easter baps!
Delicious cinnamon, spicy, and currant infused Hot Crossed Buns; the absolute essential over Easter weekend.
Slice them up, pop them under the grill, and smother in molten butter. Spicy, buttery bliss!

I used the master himself, Paul Hollywood's recipe from the Great British Bake Off/BBC Good Food- I was pretty happy with the results!

To make your own sticky, spicy buns you will need:
- 300ml of milk
- 50g butter
- 500g strong white bread flour
- 1tsp salt
- 1x 7g pack of instant/fast action yeast
- 75g caster sugar
- 1 large egg
- 100g sultanas
- 75g mixed peel
- Zest of 1 large orange
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 apple, peeled, cored, and diced.

(For the cross and glaze):
- 75g plain flour
- Couple of tablespoons tepid water
- Couple of tablespoons of apricot jam

Heat your 300ml of milk in a saucepan and bring to the boil; once gently bubbling, remove from the heat, add the butter, and stir until completely melted.
While you wait for this to cool to hand temperature; weigh out your flour into a large bowl. 
Add your yeast and sugar to one side, and the salt to the other. This is very, very important as the salt will stunt the yeasts growth and stop your buns from expanding. 

Weigh out your sultanas and mixed peel. Peel, slice, and dice up your apple, (I used a large bramley apple). Then finally grate the zest of one large orange.
Best to get it all prepared now as it will be near impossible later when your hands are covered in sticky dough!

Once everything is ready in advance; create a well in the centre of your bowl, crack in your egg, and add half of your butter/milk mix. 

Act as if your hand is a claw and slowly combine the mixture into a dough, scraping all around the sides. Add the milk/butter mixture in steady amounts until the dough is sticky; you might not need to add all of the liquid for it to reach this stage.

When ready, tip in all of the peel, sultanas, apple, and orange zest. Sprinkle over 2 tsps of ground cinnamon and mix once again with your hand until fully combined.

Lightly flour a work surface and knead the hell out of your dough for 5 minutes. Stretch it out and push down with one hand, fold it back on itself, and flatten it down. Have a bit of fun with kneading, it is a pretty hard effort but will stretch the gluten for an elastic dough. 

Pop this kneaded dough into a mixing bowl and cover with cling film. Let your dough prove for one hour in a warm place- go make yourself a cup of tea and relax after all that heavy kneading!

After one hour, lightly flour your work surface again and tip out the dough.
Roll it out into a large sausage and bend into a 'U' shape. Cut it at the bend, half each sausage strand, then half again. To be extra accurate, you could even weigh each piece for even sizing.

Roll each little slice into a ball and pop onto a lined baking sheet. Cover with a tea towel and leave in a warm place to prove for one more hour.
Hoorah! Time for another cup of tea, (and a biscuit)- baking is hard work!

Preheat your oven to 220C/200C fan. In a small mixing bowl, mix together 75g of plain flour with a couple of tablespoons of tepid water. You are looking for a thick paste, but each brand of flour will vary in how much water is needed.

Spoon this paste into a piping bag with a plain nozzle and get criss-crossing all over your cheeky little buns!

Make sure you go all the way to the bottom of the tray so that the cross completely covers the buns.
Slide each tray into the oven for around 20 minutes, you might need to cover them with tin foil if they are turning a little too brown.

Ahhh.... That Eastery aroma will be swarming your kitchen with delicious cinnamon smells before you know it! 
Heat up a couple of tablespoons of apricot jam in the microwave and sieve out any bits with a tea strainer. 
You need to glaze the little beauties while they are still warm; so using a pastry brush, lather the tops and sides of the buns with your jammy glaze.

Leave to cool completely, then dig in! There is nothing better than a freshly made Hot Cross Bun!

I am definitely a 'toast' kind of girl, so whack out the grill on the Aga or pop into the toaster. Watch the sides turn a delicious, golden brown; and when you hear that electronic 'ting' of the timer, get buttering!

Hot, buttery, bliss!

Have a good Easter everyone! I hope you all indulge in plenty of milky Chocolate Eggs, Hot Crossed Buns, and Easter Tiffin!

But hands off my buns! These squidgy blighters are only for me to touch!


  1. Wowzers, I contemplated making my own but it just looked so damn tricky.. After all the chocolate I've eaten today I'm sure I could squeeze one in xx

    1. I was a bit scared at first, but I was surprised how easy they were, they just take a while with the proving etc! I'm joining you in the chocolate food coma too! On my 5th Lindt bunny- more proud than guilt ridden! xx

    2. Defo be proud, you must have a stomach of steel! xx

    3. My brother is beating me on 7 bunnies... I like a challenge! xx

  2. Great Hot Cross Buns, Love your blog.


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