We might all be in lockdown but we can still enjoy Easter. So here’s a simple hot cross bun recipe you can make at home. It may look like a lot of steps but it’s actually quite straightforward. This is a great activity if you’ve got a lot of time on your hands or kids to entertain! That’s if you can find any flour…
500g strong white flour (plain flour or white bread flour will also work)
70g caster sugar
2(7g) sachets of fast-action dried yeast
300ml warm milk
1 egg, beaten
1tsp ground cinammon*
1 tsp mixed spice
½ tsp ground nutmeg
200g sultanas or raisins**
50g candied peel
For the Crosses
70g plain white flour
For the Glaze
70g caster sugar
*spices can be substituted according to preference/what you can find in the cupboard!
** You can add any combination of fruits you like here, from the classic sultanas/raisins and candied peel, to cranberries, raspberries and white chocolate. Another great combination is apple, raisins and toffee pieces. Or if you’re a chocoholic like me, forget the fruit altogether and go for 100g chocolate chips. You can even add marmalade to make chocolate orange.
- Whisk together the milk, sugar and yeast. Cover and set aside for about 15 minutes, until the mixture is frothy.
- Sift the flour in to a large bowl and add the salt and spices
- Rub the butter into the flour & spice mix until it has a sandy consistency
- Add the milk mixture and the beaten egg to the flour until they are all combined. Mix together until a dough-like consistency is formed.
- On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough for around 10 minutes until it feels smooth and elastic.
- Lightly knead the fruit/fillings into the dough until they are evenly mixed in.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with cling film. Leave it in a warm place for about an hour, until the dough has doubled in size.
- Divide the dough into 12 balls, placing them on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper.
- Cover with cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200C/Gas 6.
- To make the crosses, mix together the flour and water to form a thick paste. Spoon into a piping bag (a sandwich bag with the bottom corner cut off works just as well)
- Pipe a cross on to the top of each bun.
- Bake the buns for 15-20 minutes, until risen and golden.
- To make the glaze, heat together the ingredients until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Brush the tops of the buns with the glaze as soon as they come out of the oven.