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Make the perfect Hot Cross Buns

22 March 2013

Hot Cross Buns are often served as a classic Easter treat and customary to eat on Good Friday.  Make the perfect homemade treats with our easy recipe:


You will need:

•    625g white flour
•    1 tsp salt
•    2 tsp ground mixed spice
•    45g  unsalted butter
•    85g sugar
•    1 lemon for zest
•    1½ tsp fast-action yeast
•    1 egg
•    275ml milk
•    125g mixed dried fruit
For the topping
•    2 tbsp plain flour
•    1 tbsp golden syrup, gently heated, for glazing


To Make:

•    Preheat the oven to 240C/475F/Gas 8.
•    To make the buns, sieve the flour, salt and ground mixed spice into a large mixing bowl, then rub in the butter using your fingertips. Make a well in the centre of the mixture, then add the sugar and lemon zest and yeast.
•    Beat the egg and add to the flour with the milk. Mix together to a form a soft, elastic dough.
•    Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Carefully work the mixed dried fruit into the dough until well combined. Knead lightly for 5 minutes, or until smooth and elastic.
•    Grease a large, warm mixing bowl with butter. Shape the dough into a ball and place it into the prepared bowl, then cover with a clean tea towel and set aside in a warm place for one hour to prove.
•    Turn out the proved dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knock back the dough. Shape it into a ball again and return it to the bowl, then cover again with the tea towel and set aside for a further 30 minutes to rise.
•    Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and divide it into equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, then flatten slightly into a bun shape using the palms of your hands. Cover the buns again with the tea towel and set aside to rest for about 5-10 minutes.
•    Grease a baking tray with butter and transfer the buns to the tray. Wrap the tray with the buns on it loosely in greaseproof paper, then place inside a large polythene bag. Tie the end of the bag tightly so that no air can get in and set aside in a warm place for a further 40 minutes to rise.
•    Meanwhile, for the topping, mix the plain flour to a smooth paste with 2 tablespoons of cold water.
•    When the buns have risen, remove the polythene bag and the greaseproof paper. Spoon the flour mixture into a piping bag and pipe a cross on each bun.
•    Transfer the buns to the oven and bake for 8-12 minutes, or until pale golden-brown. As soon as you remove the buns from the oven, brush them with the hot golden syrup, then set aside to cool on a wire rack.


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