When I think about Easter, there are a number of foods that immediately come to mind, but I think the humble hot cross bun is one of the ultimate Easter bakes. It is rich and buttery, and filled with the goodness of dried fruits and spices, something that’ll make your family coming back for more! The buns are traditionally eaten on Good Friday to commemorate the Crucifixion of Christ, and that is what the cross on the buns symbolise. To make them any other time of the year, simply leave out the crosses.
- 500 g cups Strong white flour (Bread flour)
- 75 g Caster sugar
- 1/4 cup Currants/ Raisins
- 1/4 cup Dried cranberries/ Dates/Apricots
- 7 g Dry active yeast
- 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
- 1 tsp Mixed spice (All spice)
- 1/4 tsp Ground Nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1 Egg
- 70 g Melted butter
- 3/4 cup Milk
- 1/4 cup Water
For the crosses
- 35 g Plain flour
For the glazing
- 1/4 cup Sugar
- 3-4 tbsp Water
- Take 3/4 cup of luke warm milk and add 7 g yeast and 1/2 teaspoon sugar, stir to combine. Set aside for 10 minutes or until the yeast is foamy.
- In a stand mixer or a large bowl combine flour, ground nutmeg, ground cinnamon, mixed spice, zest of a lemon, salt, sugar, milk, water and egg, mix it all together to get a sticky dough.
- Now for the fruits, add in the currants and dried cranberries and mix it all together with the dough.
- Take the dough out of the bowl, knead it until it becomes nice and smooth. Place it back in the bowl, cover it with cling wrap and leave it to prove for an hour and half until it has doubled in size.
- Take it out and give it a quick knead. And leave it to rise again for an hour. Once the dough has proven, roll out the dough and divide it into 12 equal parts. Roll the dough pieces into a bun shape by rolling them on a surface against your palms to create smooth buns.
- Line two baking trays with parchment paper, arrange 6 buns on each tray and cover them with a clean tea towel or cling wrap. Let them rise at room temperature until they have doubled in size.
- Preheat the oven to 200 C (fan).
To make the flour paste
- Combine flour and sugar in a small bowl. Gradually mix in enough water to form a smooth paste.
- Place mixture into a small piping/ freezer bag and cut a tiny hole at the tip.
- Pipe crosses across the top of the buns.
- Bake the buns in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Take them out and cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes.
To make the glaze
- Combine sugar and water in a small pan and stir over low heat, making sure not to bring it to boil, until sugar has dissolved.
- Brush the glaze over the buns. Serve warm with butter or jam.