Hot Cross Buns 

Easy to make and you should have most ingredients in your store cupboard, serve warm with salted butter.

Ingredients

  • 300ml whole milk
  • 500g strong white flour
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 7g sachet fast-action yeast
  • 50g butter
  • 1 free-range egg, beaten
  • 150g sultanas / raisins
  • 80g candied orange / mixed peel / whatever you have in the cupboard
  • 1 apple peeled and grated
  • 2 oranges, zest only
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Separately
  • 75g plain flour to make the crosses on top
  • 2 Tbsps. Orange marmalade
  • 1 cardamom pod
  • Vanilla essence

Method

Bring the milk to a simmer and then remove from the heat and leave to cool to room temp.

Mix the flour, sugar, salt, yeast, butter and egg together in a bowl, then slowly add the milk until it forms a soft, sticky dough.

Add the sultanas, mixed peel, chopped apple, orange zest and cinnamon, then tip out of the bowl onto a lightly floured surface.

Knead the dough until smooth and elastic. (around 5 minutes)

Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with cling film and leave to rise until doubled in size. (roughly 1 hour)

Divide the dough into 12 pieces, and roll into a ball on a lightly floured surface. Arrange the buns on a baking tray lined with parchment, leaving enough space so that the buns just touch when they rise and expand. Set aside to prove for another hour and pre heat your oven to 220C.

Mix the 75g of remaining flour with water until a paste consistency – place in piping bag and pipe over the buns one way and then the opposite to get the traditional decoration.

Bake for 20-25 minutes on the middle shelf of the oven, or until golden-brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Once the buns are cool out of the oven. Warm the orange marmalade with a cracked cardamom pod and a splash of vanilla essence, pass this through a sieve so you are left with a smooth glaze. (no bits)

Brush the glaze onto the buns whilst it is still warm. Tear the buns apart and enjoy!