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Hot Cross Buns

Hot Cross Buns

You don’t have to wait for Easter to enjoy these fruity teatime treats – why not make your own to eat all year round? You’ll know when they are cooked, as you’ll get a hollow sound when you tap the base – 20 mins or so should do it. We like them toasted, buttered and served with a steaming hot cup of tea!


  • 1 level tbsp dried yeast 
  • 100ml / 3½ fl oz warm water 
  • 450g /1lb plain flour 
  • 50g / 1¾ oz brown sugar 
  • 100ml / 3½fl oz milk 
  • 1 level tsp salt 
  • 1 egg beaten 
  • 30g / 1oz softened unsalted butter 
  • 1 level tsp cinnamon 
  • 1 level tsp mixed spice 
  • 30g / 1 oz candied peel, chopped 
  • 40g / 1½ oz raisins 
  • 40g / 1½ oz sultanas 
  • Egg wash (1egg and 1tsp sugar) 
  • Icing sugar, to dust

For the crosses

  • 1tsp flour 
  • 1tsp sugar 
  • Water, to mix

Preparation method

  1. Mix the yeast with the warm water and a spoonful of the flour and stir until smooth. Allow to sit in a warm place covered for up to 30 minutes or until the yeast starts to bubble.
  2. Put the remaining flour, sugar, milk, salt, egg, butter and yeast mixture in an electric mixer with a dough hook, and mix on a slow speed until well blended
  3. Turn up the speed a little and knead until the dough becomes smooth yeast mixture. Add a splash of water or milk if it seems too dry
  4. Add the spices and fruit and mix again briefly until combined. This could be done by hand on a flour-dusted table if preferred. Cover with cling film and leave in a warm place to rise until double in size (up to an hour)
  5. Knead the dough gently for a few seconds and cut into 12 equal pieces - shape into balls. Put on an oiled baking sheet, spaced well apart, and cover again as before. Leave to rise again - up to 30 minutes
  6. Meanwhile pre-heat the oven to 240°C/ 475°F/gas 8. With the back of a knife, make a cross gently in each bun. Brush with the egg wash
  7. Mix the flour and sugar together with enough water to make a paste
  8. Put this in a small piping bag with a small nozzle and pipe the cross on each bun using the knife markings as a guide. Put in the oven and bake for 10 minutes or until they start to colour, turn down the oven to 170°C/325°F/gas 3
  9. Bake for 20 minutes or until they sound hollow on the base when tapped
  10. Dust generously with icing sugar and allow to cool.

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