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Hot Cross Buns

This recipe makes about 12 hot cross buns, perfect eaten straight from the oven, warm and smothered in butter. A perfect homemade Easter treat.

hot cross buns

These hot cross buns are best made when you have a day at home, as the mixture needs to be put aside to rise several times. It's a great rainy day activity to do with the children, even though it's a detailed recipe, children can be involved with the making, measuring, weighing, kneading, piping on the crosses, there is loads they can join in with.

This recipe is for a peel free version, using just raisins but it's simple to adapt if you wish to use more traditional mixed dried fruit.

475g Strong bread flour
7g Sachet of easy bake yeast
50g Caster sugar, plus an extra 1 tsp
250ml Warm milk
½ tsp Salt
50g Butter
2 tsp Mixed spice
120g Raisins (or mixed dried fruit)
1 Egg
4 tbsp Plain flour

For the glaze
1 tsp Milk
1 tbsp Caster sugar

Mix 100g of the bread flour with the yeast and the 1 tsp caster sugar. Then mix in the warm milk. Cover with clingfilm, and leave in a warm place for half an hour, until the mix is bubbly and has risen

Put the rest (350g) of the bread flour into a bowl, add the salt, and the butter chopped into small pieces. Rub the butter into the flour.

yeast mixtureThen stir in the mixed spice, the caster sugar and the raisins. When the yeast mixture is ready, add a beaten egg to it and then pour it into the bowl too.

Mix together until it forms a smooth, soft dough. If it's too dry, add a little water, if it's too wet, which will make it sticky, add a bit more flour.

When the dough is the right consistency, knead for about 5 minutes on a floured surface. Once kneaded, place it back in the bowl, cover and leave in a warm place for about an hour until it's doubled in size.

After it's risen, take it out the bowl and knead lightly. Then cut the dough into 12 equal sized pieces and shape each one into nice round buns.

Place them well spaced on a greased baking tray. Then cover and leave in a warm place for another hour, until they have risen.

Mix the 4tbsp of plain flour with 3 tbsp of water, which will make a thick paste. Then spoon this into a piping bag, if you don't have one, use a plastic food bag and snip off the corner. Pipe a cross over each bun, don't worry if it drips down onto the tray.

Bake for about 12 mins at 180° until golden brown, and the bases make a hollow sound when tapped.

Once they are ready, take them off the tray and place on a cooling rack. Make up the glaze by mixing the sugar and milk together, and then brush over the hot cross buns while still warm.

Now they are ready to be eaten. These taste at their best eaten on the same day, preferably while still warm, but they will keep in an airtight container. Then eat toasted and buttered the next day.