Hot Cross Buns

Hot cross buns, traditionally eaten on Good Friday, are steeped in superstition - a cross was cut into the top of them before baking to 'let the devil out' and some people kept buns from one Easter to the next as lucky charms. Sharing one of these sticky, fruity treats is meant to cement friendships, which is as good an excuse as any to bake a batch.

Hot Cross Buns

Ingredients

  • 450g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1½ tsp mixed spice
  • 50g butter
  • 75g currants
  • 50g mixed peel, chopped
  • 7g sachet of 1½ tsp fast-action dried yeast
  • 100ml warm water
  • 100ml warm milk
  • 1 egg, beaten

For the decoration

  • 100g readymade shortcrust pastry
  • or 100g plain flour mixed with 3 tbsp water to give a dough
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice strained through a sieve
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar

Method

  1. Sift the flour, salt, cinnamon and mixed spice into a large bowl for electrical mixer with a dough hook and rub in the butter.
  2. Stir in the currants, mixed peel and yeast. Make a well in the centre and pour in the water, milk and beaten egg. Mix this together to form a sticky dough, then knead on a floured surface for 8-10 minutes (or for 5 minutes in the machine on a low speed) Until it is smooth and elastic.
  3. Place the dough in a large bowl, greased lightly with oil, cover with a slightly damp tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place for about 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
  4. Knock back the dough by pressing the air out of it, and knead for a couple of minutes. Divide into 12 equal-sized pieces and shape into round buns. Place on to one or two large greased baking sheets, leaving enough space between each bun for rising. Cover with the tea towel and leave to rise again for 30-45 minutes until doubled in size.
  5. Preheat the oven to 200C
  6. Whilst the buns are rising, roll out the pastry or flour dough thinly and cut out 24 strips, for the decoration.
  7. Brush the risen buns with the beaten egg and lay 2 strips of the pastry/dough on to each bun to form a cross in the middle. Brush with the egg and place in the oven. Cook for 15-18 minutes until golden and hollow-sounding when tapped underneath.
  8. Whilst the buns are cooking, place the orange juice and sugar in a small saucepan and gently heat until the sugar has dissolved.
  9. As soon as the buns are out of the oven, brush with the glaze and eat straight away or leave to cool on a wire rack and serve toasted, dripping with butter.

Enjoy!

Download Hot Cross Buns recipe in pdf format (90kb)

£
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