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Hot Cross Buns

Updated: Oct 12, 2021

Check out our Hot (Cross) Buns 😍!! Easter, for the Brits, is not the same without them, and this year we’re giving this @paulhollywood recipe a go! We kneaded the dough by hand

💪🏼+❤️= 🍞, that’s dough therapy right there. You can also use a mixer with dough hooks but you won't get the same satisfaction, trust me!

Either way, this is really easy to make as far as bread goes. It does need to rise three times but the active time is about 20 minutes. This dough is also very forgiving, making it a good one if you’re new to baking bread. Having started this dough at 9am and actually gotten around to baking the buns at 6pm, we let the dough rise at the different stages for much longer than the recipe called for, and still yielded stellar results.

We ate three of them straight off the cooling rack slathered with butta’, the rest we’re toasting. Aaaaannd it looks like we’ll have to head back to the kitchen to top up our basket for Easter brunch!

Ingredients for about 15 buns:

For the buns:

  • 1-1/4 cups (300 ml) whole milk

  • 3-1/2 tablespoons (50 g) butter

  • 4 cups (500 g) strong white bread flour

  • 1/3 cup (75 g) sugar

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 2 teaspoons (7 g) sachet fast-action yeast

  • 1 egg, beaten

  • 1/2 cup (75 g) sultanas, currants or raisins

  • 1/2 cup (80 g) mixed peel (or just add more currants)

  • 1 apple, chopped into small pieces

  • 1 orange, zest only

  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

  • vegetable oil, for greasing the bowl

For the cross:

  • 2/3 cup (75 g) flour

For the glaze:

  • 3 tablespoons apricot jam

In a saucepan, bring the milk to a boil, then remove from heat and add the butter. Leave to cool until it’s lukewarm. Put the flour, sugar, salt and yeast into a bowl. Make a well in the centre. Pour in the warm milk and butter mixture, then add 1 beaten egg. Using a wooden spoon, mix well, then bring everything together with your hands until you have a sticky dough.

Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead by holding the dough with one hand and stretching it with the heel of the other hand, then folding it back on itself. Repeat for 5 mins until smooth and elastic, be patient and enjoy the process! Alternatively, you can knead this with an electric mixer using dough hooks. Put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with oiled plastic wrap and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hour, or until doubled in size, and a finger pressed into it leaves a dimple.

With the dough still in the bowl, add the sultanas, mixed peel, orange zest, apple and ground cinnamon. Knead the ingredients into the dough, making sure everything is well distributed. Leave to rise for 1 more hour, or until doubled in size, again covered by some well-oiled plastic wrap to stop the dough getting a crust.

Divide the dough into 15 even pieces. 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 paper, leaving enough space for the dough to expand. Cover (but don’t wrap) with more oiled cling film, or a clean tea towel, then set aside to prove for 1 hour more.

Heat oven to 425F (220C). To make the cross, mix the flour with about 4-5 tablespoons water to make a paste – add the water 1 tablespoon at a time. You want the paste to be fluid enough to pipe but not drippy. Spoon into a piping bag with a small nozzle, or a plastic bag with the corner cut off. Pipe a line along each row of buns, then repeat in the other direction to create crosses. Bake for 18-20 mins on the middle shelf of the oven, until golden brown.

Gently heat the apricot jam to melt, then sieve it to get rid of any chunks. While the jam is still warm, brush over the top of the warm buns and leave to cool.

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