With Easter just around the corner…

Hot cross buns are one of those things that I have always fancied making but have never got round to… until now. Last month, I bought a Waitrose magazine and was unable to resist giving the sticky, sweet buns a try (well done Mr. photographer, you managed to make them look irresistable). So, how did they go? Well, they were pretty great! Making your own hot cross buns does require a bit of time but I was so excited with the result I will be making them again and again.

Hot Cross Buns

(Recipe by Edd Kimber)

450g strong white bread flour

½ tsp salt

2 tsp mixed spice

1 tsp cinnamon

50g caster sugar

7g sachet dried yeast

250ml whole milk

30g unsalted butter

1 orange zest

120g raisins

1 large egg

Olive oil

50g plain flour

2 tbsp golden syrup

  1. Mix the bread flour, salt, spices, sugar and yeast in a large bowl. Then melt the butter in a pan with the milk over a low heat and add the orange zest and raisins. Leave this to cool for a couple of minutes before mixing in the beaten egg.
  2. Make a small well in the flour mixture and pour in the milk mixture. Stir until it comes together in a dough.
  3. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead it for at least 5 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Then put the ball of dough into a lightly oiled bowl and cover it with clingfilm. Leave the dough to rise for about an hour in a warm place.
  4. Once risen, place the ball of dough onto a lightly floured surface and flatten by knocking out some of the air. Now divide the dough into however many balls you want: the recipe recommends 9 but this produces quite large buns so I would opt for 10-12.
  5. Place the buns on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper and make sure they are about about 2cm apart before covering them with greased clingfilm and leaving them to rise again for about 40 minutes. During this time you should preheat your oven to 200ᵒC/gas mark 6 for however long it normally takes.
  6. After the second proof, uncover the buns (they should have now doubled in size- woohoo!) and mix the flour with 5tbsp water to make a thick paste. Use this paste to make the crosses for your buns by spooning it into a piping bag fitted with a small nozzle (I just use a plastic bag with the corner cut off) and pipe them on.
  7. Bake the buns for 20-25 minutes until golden in colour. When they have cooled slightly, melt the golden syrup in a pan and then brush it over the buns to give them a sweet, sticky shine.

These hot cross buns are delicious so why not make them for Easter day breakfast? They are best served warm with butter. Mmmmm….