It wouldn’t be Easter without a rich and fruity hot cross bun, toasted and buttered to have with a cup of tea. Although this hot cross bun recipe uses dried fruits, you can also swap out the currants or sultanas for fresh fruit, especially if it needs using up. Grated or finely chopped apple would work especially well in these spiced buns.
Hot Cross Buns
Ingredients (makes 14-16 buns)
- 500g strong bread flour
- 1tsp salt
- 7g dried, fast-action yeast
- 75g caster sugar
- 300ml full fat milk
- 50g butter
- 1 egg, beaten
- 75g sultanas
- 50g currants
- Zest of 1 large orange
- 1tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- extra 75g flour (for cross)
- Sift dried ingredients in a large mixing bowl (flour, salt, sugar, and yeast).
- In a small pan, bring the milk to a boil and turn it down to a simmer.
- Add the butter to the milk and stir until melted. Bring milk off the heat.
- Make a well in the dried ingredients and gently pour in the warm milk mixture. Stir with a fork, and then gradually combine into a dough with your hands.
- Transfer the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead it into a soft dough. It’s ready to rest if you poke your finger gently into the dough and it bounces back.
- Put the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover it with a damp tea towel, and leave it in a warm place for 1 hour to prove. If the conditions are right, it should double in time.
- After 1 hour, add the orange zest, dried fruit, cinnamon and mixed spice to the dough and knead until evenly distributed.
- Put the dough back in the bowl, cover it with a damp tea towel and return to a warm place to prove for a further hour.
- After the second hour, place the dough on a lightly floured surface and cut into 14-16 evenly sized lumps (you can weigh them for consistent buns).
- Once cut, roll the lumps of dough into balls in your hands. Place the dough balls on 2-3 baking trays with at least a few centimetres in between to allow for growth.
- Beat an egg and brush the egg wash over the buns.
- In a separate bowl, whisk about 75g flour with water until you have a paste that you can pipe.
- Fill a piping bag, or zip-lock bag (cut a small hole in one of the corners for the effect of a piping bag) with the paste, and pipe gently in a cross shape across the buns.
- Bake in a hot oven (180-200 c, fan oven will make for a more even bake) for 20-25 minutes until golden brown (check after 20 minutes to determine how much longer they’ll need)
Eat them while they’re hot!
Once cooked, butter the buns and eat within 20 minutes of baking!
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