Hot cross buns

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Hot cross buns

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Adjust Servings:
500 g Strong white flour
300 ml Milk
50 g Butter
70 g Caster sugar
8 g Yeast
1 tsp Salt
1 Egg
1 tsp Cinnamon
50 g Sultanas
50 g Candied peel
1 Lemon zest
75 g Plain flour
75 g Water
100 g Jam apricot
    • Serves 14
    • Easy


    • Crosses

    • Glaze



    Hot cross buns

    Hot cross buns are one of the main things I think of when thinking about food at Easter. Obviously, things like lamb, Cadbury’s Creme Eggs and Simnel cake pop into my head with the latter only really since I have started baking though! I only tend to devour them around this time, trying to stock up on a year’s supply in a week either side of Easter. This isn’t for any particular religious reason, it is just a weird habit I have gotten into. We have always eaten them toasted and covered in butter, although there has been word that people enjoy them cold.

    Originally, they were just eaten on Good Friday. There seems to be something about a monk decorating a bun with the cross to mark the religious day, but without a time machine it is hard to confirm such things. Some places mention that this occurred in the 12th Century and others such as Wikipedia mentioning the 14th Century.  Either way, if it happened, it was quite a while ago.  During the reign of Queen Elizabeth the First, there was a decree saying they could only been eaten on Good Friday, burials and Christmas. The Christmas one is news to me, so I think I can add a few more into the year’s total.  I think going to more funerals to try and eat more of them might be going a bit far.  These hot cross buns are obviously available throughout the year in bakeries and supermarkets!


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    Heat the milk slowly in pan and remove from the heat just as it starts to boil.
    Add the butter and stir unitl melted, then leave to cool a little.


    Sift the flour into a bowl along with the sugar and cinnamon, adding the yeast to one side and the salt to the other.
    When the milk has reached body temperature; mix the flour, sugar, yeast and salt together and make a well in the centre.
    Pour in the milk and add the gently whisked egg.


    Mix together using a spoon until it starts to come together.
    Upturn onto a floured surface and using your hands, knead the dough together until it becomes elastic.
    This could take up to around 10 minutes.


    Bring together into a tight ball and leave in a lightly oiled bowl covered in cling film for an hour or so, until it has doubled in size.
    Add the sultanas, lemon zest and candied fruits and mix into the dough and form into another bolw and leave again for an hour.
    When it has doubled in size again, divide into about 12 pieces.


    Roll each piece into a tight ball and leave on a baking tray covered in a teacloth for another hour.
    While this happens, pre-heat the oven.
    Take the 75 g of flour and slowly add the water until it is a thick paste.


    Put the paste into a piping bag and pipe the crosses over the risen buns.
    Place into the middle of the oven and bake for about 13 minutes - the time will vary depending on your oven and size of the buns!
    Remove when golden and leave to cool on a rack.


    About five minutes before the buns are ready, put the jam into a saucepan with a tablespoon of water and heat.
    Pass the jam through a sieve into a bowl to remove any chunky pieces.
    Use a brush to glaze the surface of the buns and leave to fully cool.


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