As Easter is fast approaching one of my favourite baked goods is back on the shelves- Hot Cross Buns. Hot Cross Buns mix some of my favourite flavours together into one delicious bun. I have always bought them thinking I need to try to make them myself one day. Year after year I get put off by the thought of having to make a bread dough. It isn’t something I’m very confident with. However, this recipe proved that sometimes just putting your mind and trying something different can lead to surprising results!
I am a full preacher of if you make something yourself at home, it tastes a lot better than anything you will buy in a supermarket. There is always added satisfaction as well knowing you made it yourself. Home baking takes out all the additives and the excessive amount of sugar some shops will add in to ensure their products stay fresher for longer. The flavours seem to come out so much better in baking at home and especially in this recipe, the texture and flavour of the dough are better than anything in the shop!
If you’re not a confident baker, this recipe takes you through what you need to do step by step in a simple way, with no jargon! Don’t get me wrong, it takes time to get it right but, it is worth every effort! The results are gorgeous, sticky hot cross buns packed full of fruity, zesty flavours, perfect with a spreading of butter.
The dough needs to prove on 3 occasions for at least an hour. However, don’t let the proving process tie you down. I went out for a few hours whilst my dough was proving and it didn’t impact the result- I just came home to a dough which had quadrupled in size!
These are perfect with a cuppa in the afternoon and are very addictive- I have had to hold myself back from eating way too many!
The recipe is adapted and inspired by Paul Hollywood.
- 300ml Full Fat Milk
- 50g Butter or Margarine
- 500g Strong Bread Flour
- 1 Teaspoon of Salt
- 75g Caster Sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Sunflower Oil
- 7g Sachet of Fast Action Dried Yeast
- 1 Egg Beaten
- 75g Sultanas
- 50g Mixed Peel
- Zest of 1 Orange
- 1 Apple Grated then chopped into really small pieces
- 1 Teaspoon of Cinnamon
For the Cross:
- 75g Plain Flour
For the Glaze
- 3 Tablespoons of Apricot Jam
- Bring the milk to the boil in a saucepan, as soon as it starts to bubble take it off the heat and add the butter. Stir until the butter has melted and mixed in.
- In a large bowl put in the flour, yeast, salt, and sugar. Make a well/hole in the middle of the dry ingredients.
- When the milk has cooled to just a warm temperature/handling temperature pour it into the middle of your well and also pour in a beaten egg. Using a wooden spoon mix everything together, it will start to come together use your hands to form a sticky dough.
- Tip the sticky dough onto a floured surface and knead the dough. To knead stretch out some of the dough and fold it back into itself pushing down with the bottom of your hand. If you’re unsure give it a google/youtube search. Knead for at least 5 mins adding flour onto your surface when it starts to disappear (otherwise, your dough will stick)
- After 5 mins the dough should be elasticy and smooth. Lightly oil a large bowl and place the dough in it. Cover with cling film which has also been oiled (the oil prevents a crust from forming. Place somewhere warm to prove- I left in the airing cupboard. Leave the dough for at least an hour. It should at least double in size within this time.
- Whilst the dough is proving mix your fruit and spice ingredients into a bowl ready to be used
- After an hour, with the dough still in the bowl tip in the fruit and spice. Then knead the dough on a floured surface as before to ensure everything has been distributed. Place back into the bowl again covered with oiled cling film. Leave to prove in a warm place for one hour.
- Once this hour is up split the dough into 15 balls. To get it accurate each ball should weigh around 75g. To form the ball roll on the surface to smooth over.
- Place each ball slightly apart on greased parchment paper on a baking tray. You may need 2! Lightly cover (do not wrap!) with some cling film and leave to prove one last time for an hour.
- To form the cross on the top add 5 tablespoons of water to 75g of plain flour to form a thick paste. Put in a piping bag with a small nozzle or a disposable one cutting a small hole at the end. Pipe crossed onto the top of each ball.
- Preheat the oven 200 degrees and then place the buns in the oven for around 15-20 mins- keep an eye on them, they’ll be ready when they start to brown on the top and you can see them browning on the bottom too! Leave to cool on a wire rack
- To make the glaze heat up the apricot jam in a saucepan, once warm and in a liquid form brush onto each of your buns.