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Hot Cross Buns

When it comes to seasonal baking, there's isn't a more popular baked good than the classic Hot Cross Bun - this recipe makes 12 of these delicious tea-time treats.
Course Afternoon Tea, Baking, Bread, Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine American, Australian, British, Comfort, European, New Zealand, World
Keyword baking, bread, bun, chocolate, cross, currant, currants, fruit, hot, Middle Eastern, mixed, sultana, sultanas
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Proving Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 12

Equipment

  • Large mixing bowl or Standmixer
  • Measuring jug, cups, spoons
  • Rolling Pin
  • Baking tray
  • Scraper
  • Parchment paper/baking paper
  • Small saucepan

Ingredients

Buns

  • 4 cups plain flour (529g/18.7oz)
  • 14 g (standard) sachets dried yeast (.5oz)
  • 1/4 cup caster sugar (55g/1.9oz)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons mixed spice
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups currants, or sultanas, or dried mixed fruit of your choice (240g/8.5oz)
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted (40g/1.5oz)
  • 300 ml milk, warmed (10.5floz/1¼cups)
  • 2 lrg eggs lightly beaten

Flour Paste

  • 1/2 cup plain flour (63g/2oz)
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons water (65g/2.2floz)
  • 2 tsp granular/caster sugar

Glaze

  • 1/3 cup water (75ml/2.6oz)
  • 2 tablespoons caster sugar (40g/1.5oz)

Instructions

  • In a small mixing bowl, activate the yeast with the warmed milk and sugar.
  • Combine the flour, spice, and dried fruit in the bowl of a stand-mixer. When the yeast mix is foaming, whisk in the eggs and melted butter. Add the liquid yeast ingredients to the dry ingredients, and mix until a soft dough is formed.
  • Note: this stage can also be done by hand, but will take a little longer.
  • Knead the dough in the stand-mixer for 7.5mins on a low-medium speed, or until the dough is smooth. (This can also be done by hand, but will take about 10mins)
    You can leave the dough in this bowl to prove, simply cover with clean tea towel, and place in a warm and draught-free place for 90mins, or until doubled in size.
  • On a large baking tray, place a liner of parchment/baking paper.
    Knock back/punch down the dough and it will return to it's original volume. Give it a quick knead, for about 30secs, and then divide into 12 equal sized balls - use scales for this if possible.
  • Roll each piece of dough until it forms a ball shape, and place onto the baking tray. Cover with the tea towel and leave to prove again for about 30mins/until doubled in size.
  • Preheat oven to 190°C/375˚F or 170˚C/330˚F fan-force.

Flour Paste for the Cross

  • Mix the flour, sugar, and water together in a small bowl until smooth. You can add a little more water if the paste is too thick - but, it should barely dribble off a spoon! Place in either a small piping bag with fine nozzle, or into a small plastic/ziplock bag, cutting off one corner so as to imitate a piping bag.
  • Pipe the paste over the tops of the buns to form crosses, when finished, place the buns in the oven to bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until buns are golden-brown on top and cooked through.

Glaze - post bake

  • Mix the water and sugar in a small saucepan, dissolving the sugar over low heat. Boil for 3 minutes, and brush over the tops of the buns as soon as they come out of the over.
  • Leave the buns too cool to room temperature, and then serve with butter.

Notes

For the best taste, eat the buns on the day they're made. You can also freeze them for up to a week. To defrost them, simply place them in a microwave, and heat for approx. 1min on defrost (30%) - remember to leave them to stand for a minute or so, as they'll be hot!
You can also customise these buns by using the base recipe, leaving out the dried fruit and adding any of the following:
  • 2tbsp cocoa powder + choc chips.
  • ¼cup dried apple (diced) + 2tsp ground cinnamon.
  • 3tbsp pumpkin spice mix.
  • Any other combination you prefer.