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Hot Cross Buns

/ Categories Recipes, #LeithsLoves / Author:

Hot Cross Buns


Makes 8

Hot cross buns

100ml milk
15g fresh yeast
2 tbsp warm water
30g caster sugar
1 egg
250g strong plain flour
¼ tsp salt
2 tsp ground mixed spice (or more to your taste!)
40g butter
Extra flour for kneading
50g currants
1 tbsp chopped mixed peel
Oil for oiling baking sheet
Extra 50ml milk for glazing
Extra 1 tsp caster sugar for glazing

For the crosses
50g plain flour
Pinch baking powder
2 tsp oil
Apricot glaze optional


  1. Place the milk in a saucepan, bring it to scalding point then remove the pan from the heat and allow it to cool to blood temperature.
  2. Mix the yeast with the warm water and ½ tsp of the sugar to create a loose paste. Beat the egg and add it to the yeast.
  3. Sift the flour, spices and salt into a bowl. Cut the butter into cubes and rub it into the flour with your fingertips. Stir in the remaining sugar.
  4. Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour in the yeast mixture and two thirds of the milk. Make sure all the yeast is scraped into the well. Stir with a cutlery knife and then with your fingers, adding enough of the reserved milk to make a soft but not sticky dough.
  5. 5 Knead the dough for about 10 minutes, or until smooth and elastic, using as little extra flour on the work surface as possible.
  6. 6 Place the dough in a very lightly oiled bowl and cover with lightly oiled clingfilm or a damp t-towel and place it in a warm place for about an hour and a half to rise and double in size.
  7. Once doubled in size, remove the dough from the bowl and knock it back for 2 minutes. Knead in the currants and peel without allowing them to break up into the dough too much.
  8. Heat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 5. Oil a large baking sheet. Shape the dough into 8 even sized buns and place on the baking sheet, flattening slightly with the palm of your hand. Cover with oiled cling film and leave to prove.
  9. Meanwhile make a paste which will create the crosses on the top of the buns. Sieve the flour and baking powder into a bowl. Stir in the 2 tsp oil and enough cold water to make a thick but ‘pipable’ paste. When the buns have doubled in size, mix the 50ml milk with the tsp sugar and brush buns lightly. Pipe a cross of the paste over each one with a ½ cm nozzle. Bake for 15 minutes then brush again with sweetened milk and return to the oven for 5 minutes or until golden brown, light for their size and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.
  10. While the buns cook, make the apricot glaze (optional), a thin glaze is all that is needed. Glaze the buns while they are still hot, then cool them on a wire rack and serve fresh with butter or split in half and toasted.

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