Early Easter treat- Hot Cross Buns

Skill: Medium
Cost: Low
Time: 4+ hours
Equipment: Mixing bowl, sieve, baking tray

My delicious home-made hot cross buns!


This weekend I was visiting my Dad so decided to bake a family favourite, hot cross buns. I never usually like dried fruit in recipes but hot cross buns are the exception. There is nothing better in the afternoon (or  at breakfast!) than a toasted hot cross bun, spread with real butter and accompanied by a cup of tea. The smell of fresh bread and spices is just delicious and can be resisted by few. 

I had never even considered baking them before but when I came across a simple and descriptive recipe on BBC food I wrote the ingredients down, bought what I didn’t have and was itching to start baking!

I can’t deny, they take a lot of time to prove/rise, you need to set aside at least 4 hours for the complete bake. Admittedly you have an hour/half an hour at a time when you are just waiting so you do have time to get on with other things. They are well worth the wait and taste even better than the shop bought version.

My family loved them and so did I! They were even better than I expected and I will definitely be making these again. 

Ingredients:

 

For the buns:

  • 625g strong white flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • 45g butter
  • 85g sugar
  • lemon (zest)
  • 1½ tsp  yeast
  • egg
  • 275ml milk
  • 125g mixed dried fruit
For the topping:
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 tbsp golden syrup

 

 

1. Sieve flour, salt and mixed spice into a mixing bowl and rub in the butter.

 

 

 

2. Mix in sugar, lemon zest and yeast. Make a well in the centre and add the milk (room temperature) and the egg. Mix in the dried fruit and knead for 5 minutes.

 

3. Cover with cling film and set aside in a warm place to prove for one hour.

 

4. I used a bowl of warm water underneath my mixing bowl and covered with a tea towel to keep the dough warm in my cold student house! Buy my lovely red ceramic mixing bowl here.

 

5. Once proved knock back the dough (knock the air out of it by kneading) return to the bowl and set aside in a warm place for a further half an hour.

 

6. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces, roll into a ball, place on a baking sheet and set aside in a warm place for 5-10 minutes.

 

7. Wrap the buns in greaseproof paper, place in a large polythene bag and seal. Leave in a warm place for another 40 minutes. (Mine looked like this…)

 
8. While you are doing this prepare the mixture for the ‘cross’ by mixing the flour and water to form a paste. I doubled the amount suggested. In this time also preheat the oven, 240C/ Gas mark 8.
 
 

9. Remove the buns from the polythene bag, they should have risen further.

 

10. Next fill a piping bag with the flour paste and pipe a cross across each bun. I did them a row at a time using a icing syringe.

 

11. Place in the oven for 8-12 minutes until browned on top.

 

12. Remove from oven and immediately brush with golden syrup. The recipe suggests you warm it first but I just spooned a little onto each bun and used the heat of the bun to warm it so I was able to spread it around.

 

 

13. Place on a wire rack until entirely cool.

14. Enjoy!

 

 


These buns were so soft and tasty!


They are great for afternoon tea.

I was really proud of how these turned out. They looked and tasted better than I anticipated and were surprisingly easy (if a little time consuming) to make.
I would definitely recommend trying these, no matter what baking experience you have.

Do you have any tips for creating a warm proving environment in a cold house?
I am always looking for tips to improve baking in a student house!

Until next time,

Emily x

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