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
• 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.