What better way to celebrate Easter and the glorious arrival of spring than with some delicious hot cross buns! These tasty treats are part and parcel of the Easter holidays and are perfect for making with the whole family. We have taken inspiration from the BBC Good Food website.
FUN FACT: Hot cross buns have been traced back as early as 1361 when a monk named Father Thomas Rockliffe, was recorded to have made small spiced cakes stamped with the sign of the cross.
Hot Cross Bun Recipe
- Heat the milk in a pan and bring to the boil, then remove from the heat and add the butter. Leave to cool until hand temperature. Tip the flour, salt, sugar and yeast into a bowl then create a well in the centre. Pour in the warm mixture followed by an egg. Mix well and then bring together use your hands until you have a sticky dough.
- Place dough on a floured surface, knead by holding the dough with one hand and stretching it with the heal of the other hand, then folding it back on itself. Repeat for 5 mins until smooth and elastic. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with oiled cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hr or until doubled in size and a finger pressed into it leaves a dent.
- Add in the sultanas, mixed peel, orange zest, apple and cinnamon. Leave to rise for 1 hr more, or until doubled in size, continue to cover with well-oiled cling film to prevent the dough getting a crust.
- Divide the dough into 15 even pieces (75g per piece). Roll each piece into a smooth ball on a lightly floured work surface. Arrange the buns on one or two baking trays lined with parchment, leaving enough space for the dough to expand. Place more oiled cling film or tea towel over the top then set aside to prove for 1hr.
- Pre-heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Mix the flour with about 5 tbsp water to make the paste for the cross – add the water 1 tbsp at a time, so you add just enough for a thick paste. Spoon into a piping bag with a small nozzle. Pipe a line along each row of buns, then repeat in the other direction to create crosses. Bake for 20 mins on the middle shelf of the oven, until golden brown.
- Leave to cool, then slice open and enjoy with your choice of jams or condiments.