Our (New) Traditional Hot Cross Bun Recipe

As part of my creating new Easter traditions I thought I might try my hand at making Hot Cross Buns.

Ummm, it went well. Sort of.

I’ll admit they are not the most attractive of Hot Cross Buns but the taste is spot on and that’s all that counts, right?

That and the fact that we had a lot of fun making them.

I’m hoping as each year goes on our Hot Cross Buns will improve and we will continue coming together to make an annual batch of buns.

Here’s the recipe I used:

Time
20 mins prep
45 mins (approx) rising time
10-15 mins cooking

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup each warm milk and water
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 4 tsp active dried yeast
  • 4 cups plain flour*
  • 75g butter, barely melted
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp each mixed spice and cinnamon
  • 1 tsp each ground cloves and vanilla essence
  • 1 cup mixed fruit or currants

*The recipe did call for high-grade flour but I only had plain which may have been my downfall.

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Pastry Crosses*

  • 60gm cold butter
  • 1 cup (high grade) flour

*I didn’t end up making the pastry crosses, instead I mixed up a small amount of icing sugar with melted butter and warm water and iced a cross on each bun which worked quite well.

Instructions

  1. Measure the warm milk, water and 1 tablespoon of the brown sugar into a large bowl, warm or cool the mixture to body temperature (I used our milk thermometer and checked it was about 37 degrees). Then sprinkle in the yeast granules.
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  2. Stir after two minutes to ensure the yeast has dissolved before adding half of the flour, mix gently and cover and leave in a warm place for about 30 minutes.
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  3. In another bowl, mix together the melted butter and remaining brown sugar, then beat in the egg, salt, spices, vanilla essence and dried fruit.
  4. Add the risen yeast mixture and the remaining flour and mix to make a dough just firm enough to knead, adding a little extra flour if necessary.
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  5. Knead by hand on a lightly floured surface for 10 minutes.
  6. Divide the dough evenly into four pieces, then again into four or five so you have 16 or 20 pieces in total.
  7. Shape each piece into a round ball and arrange in a sprayed baking pan leaving about 1cm between each bun.
  8. Cover with cling film and leave in a warm place until the balls have doubled in size. (I couldn’t say mine really doubled in size and I wonder if I didn’t mix the yeast in well enough as above).
  9. If you want to add pastry crosses, rub 60gm cold butter into 1 cup (high-grade) flour, then add about 3 tablespoons cold water to form a stiff dough. Roll out very thinly then cut into strips, brush with beaten egg and place carefully on the risen buns, egg side down.
  10. Bake at 225 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned.
  11. While baking make a glaze by bringing to the boil 1 tablespoon each golden syrup, honey and water.
  12. Glaze with syrup immediately after the buns come out of oven.
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  13. If you decide to go with icing as I did, wait until the buns have cooled before icing the crosses on.
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Enjoy on their own or with butter.

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