Good Friday and Easter could never be the same without a warm, buttery hot cross bun. This hot cross bun recipe is an easier and lighter recipe than a traditional recipe, which requires a starter dough and a slow rise. The recipe may be quicker but in no way is the taste compromised: the sweet, spiced buns taste just as good as the traditional ones.
- For the Buns:
- 1 lb. 2 oz. / 500 g strong white bread flour
- 2 oz. / 55 g Muscovado sugar
- 1 tsp. salt
- 3 tsp. mixed spice
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 2 oz. / 55 g butter (cold, cut into small pieces)
- 3 1/2 oz. / 150 g mixed dried fruits (chopped)
- 1 oz. / 25 g candied lemon and orange peel (chopped)
- 1/4 oz. / 7 g active dry yeast
- 1/2 pint / 300 mL milk (warm)
- For the Crosses:
- 2 1/2 oz. / 75 g all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 oz. / 35 g butter (cold, cut into small pieces)
- For the Glaze:
- 1 1/2 tablespoon apricot jam (heated)
Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, these hot cross buns are broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for baking.
Make the Buns
Mix the flour, sugar, salt and spices in a large baking bowl.
Add the butter pieces and rub the butter into the flour until it resembles coarse sand.
Add the dried fruit and dried peels; stir.
Sprinkle the yeast over the mixture and pour in the warm milk. Mix gently with a spatula until a soft, sticky dough is formed.
Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for no less than 10 minutes or until a silky smooth dough is formed.
Place the dough in a large, lightly oiled bowl. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave to rise in a warm (not hot) place until doubled in size; this should take about 2 hours.
Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface, knock all the air from the dough and knead again for 2 minutes.
Divide the dough into 12 and roll each into a bun shape. Place the buns on a lightly oiled baking sheet. With a sharp knife, cut a shallow cross the width of the bun into the top.
Cover the buns with a clean tea towel and leave to rise again for approximately 45 minutes or until well-risen.
Preheat the oven to 425 F.
Make the Crosses
Make the crosses by rubbing the butter into the flour, add a little cold water (1/2 tbsp.) and stir to make a slightly thick dough. If too dry add a bit more water.
Roll the dough into a ball, cut in half, and then each half into 6. Place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. The balls will harden and be easier to roll.
Roll each small dough ball into a long thin cord, cut in half and firmly press each 'cord' half into the cross of the buns without knocking the air out.
Bake in the preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until the buns have risen and are golden brown.
Remove from the oven and brush the buns with the jam.
Place the buns onto a wire rack and leave to cool.