hot cross buns

Happy Easter! There’s chocolate everywhere, so I made hot cross buns instead.

I’ve not had much practice with dough or yeast, bar the odd pizza base, so this was a fun one for me.

I underestimated how much proving time the buns would need, so they were afternoon tea fodder instead of the intended elevenses.

Side note – do you say eleven”sees” or eleven”ses”? Our household was split.

IMG_4905So anyway. I used BBC Food’s recipe. There’s an alternative recipe on the Good Food website by Paul Hollywood, but it was a bit more faffy. Why mix your own dried fruit when you can just buy a big bag of it already done for you?! Although I suppose you could say the same about hot cross buns in general.

But I wasn’t feeling the Hollywood recipe, anyway. Perhaps I just didn’t enjoy the idea of his smarmy gaze on my buns.

They need a few separate little proves, but honestly I cut one of these in half. The buns taste great, are a good size and aren’t dense. So as far as I can tell I think I got away with it.

I’ve bolded up the proving times, just because I didn’t read the recipe properly and grossly miscalculated timings. Learn from my mistakes, hosts and hostesses.

So without further ado. Here’s what to do.

You will need

  • 625 strong white flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground mixed spice
  • 45g unsalted butter
  • 85g caster sugar
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1.5 tsp fast-action yeast
  • 1 egg
  • 275ml milk
  • 125g mixed fruit
  • 4 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup
  1. Sieve the flour, salt and mixed spice together, then rub in the cubed butter with your fingers
  2. Make a well in the middle of the mixture and add the yeast, lemon zest and sugar
  3. Warm the milk until lukewarm and mix in, then add a beaten egg. Mix and knead into a dough
  4. Dust a clean surface with flour and roll the dough onto it. Carefully combine the mixed fruit into the dough. It flew everywhere for me. Watch the sultanas in particular, feisty little nuisances
  5. Pop into a greased (warm if possible) bowl and cover with a tea towel. Prove for one hour
  6. Knead the dough a wee bit and pop back in for another 30 minute prove. I left it for 15 minutes and it was fine
  7. Cut into 12 equal pieces, ball them up and flatten slightly so they’re bun shaped. Which basically means squished ball shapes. Cover with the tea towel and rest for 10 mins. The buns that is. But by all means have a sit down
  8. Grease one or two trays and seal them in a polythene bag. Prove for 40 minutes
  9. Preheat the oven to 250c, or gas mark 8
  10. Mix the plain flour and water into a smooth paste. I used a bit of food colouring too, because it was there. Transfer into a piping bag/s and pipe crosses onto the buns
  11. Bake for 8-12 minutes. You want them to be a nice golden brown. Heat the golden syrup while they’re in the oven
  12. Brush the hot golden syrup over the buns as soon as they come out the oven and leave to cool

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