I have never celebrated Easter in my life but since I was little, I know of the nursery rhyme “Hot cross buns, hot cross buns, one a penny, two a penny, hot cross buns!“. I had my first hot cross buns when I moved to Australia and I grew to love these spiced and fruited buns. I love to heat mine up in the oven to get the toasted top. Together with butter, the warm spiced bun is the perfect breakfast/ tea time treat.
Last year, I got the Heston Blumenthal x waitrose earl grey and mandarin hot cross buns. This year, I decided to make them instead. I read a few recipes and decided to test out The Little Loaf’s recipe. Given that I am a bit of a chocolate addict, I added dark chocolate bits to some of the buns I made.
Hot Cross Buns (recipe adapted from The little loaf)
Makes 13 buns
225g strong white flour
225g wholemeal flour
7g dried yeast
50g light brown sugar
2 tsp all spice
½ tsp ground cinnamon
50g unsalted butter
250ml milk (full fat)
Orange zest (1/2 orange)
1 large free range egg
85g mixed peel
Dark chocolate bits (depending on how much you want in your buns)
Crosses & Glaze
50g plain flour
4 tbsp Water (adjust accordingly)
2 tbsp golden syrup
1. Mix the flours, salt, sugar, yeast and spices together in a large bowl.
2. Melt the butter on the stove then remove from heat and stir in the milk. Add the orange zest then beat in the egg.
3. Make a well in the flour mixture and pour in the milk mixture. Use your hands and mix them together to form a soft dough.
4. Lightly flour the kitchen top and knead for about five minutes until the dough gets stretchy and elastic.
5. Flatten the dough out and sprinkle over the raisins, sultanas and mixed peel. Press them into the dough, then continue to knead for a couple of minutes more until fully incorporated. Shape the dough into a ball and put in a lightly greased bowl. Cover with a tea towel and set aside for about an hour until the dough doubles in size.
6. Lightly flour the kitchen top again before tipping the risen dough. Flatten the dough slightly and then divide them into 13 portions. Each should weigh about 80g. Gently shape each one into a round and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper, about 2cm apart. Cover with a tea towel and set aside for a further 40 minutes.
7. Preheat the oven to 200 degC. To make the crosses, mix the flour with about 4 tbsp water until a thick paste forms. Fill a piping bag fitted with a small nozzle or cut the corner off a sandwich bag. Slash the top of each bun with a cross and pipe the flour paste on. As I had neither, I basically used a spoon and spreaded mine into the slits.
8. Place buns in the oven and bake for about 20-25 minutes until the buns get a lovely golden brown colour.
9. Gently heat the golden syrup in a small pan. Remove the buns from the oven and brush all over with sticky syrup. Allow to cool slightly before serving.
Serve warm with tea and butter!
Side note: Home made hot cross buns taste so much better than store bought ones!