The irresistible sweet spiciness of a sticky hot cross bun makes a delicious Easter treat for the whole family. Traditionally eaten on good Friday, they are delicious straight from the oven with a cup of tea or lightly toasted for breakfast with jam or honey.
Makes 16 buns;
FOR THE BUNS
- 300 ml full fat milk
- 50 g unsalted butter
- 500 g strong white flour
- 75 g caster sugar
- 1 tbsp sunflower oil
- 7g g fast action yeast
- 1 egg (beaten)
- 75 g sultanas
- 1 orange (zest)
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- 1 tsp nutmeg
FOR THE CROSSES
- 75 g plain flour
- 6 tbsp water
FOR THE GLAZE
- 3 tbsp apricot jam
- 1 tbsp boiling water
- Add the milk to a pan and bring to the boil before removing from the heat and stirring in the butter until smooth. Allow to cool to a temperature you can touch.
- Pour the flour, sugar, sultanas, spices and orange zest into a large mixing bowl and stir together to the sultanas are evenly distributed.
- Make a well in the centre and add the butter and milk mix followed by a beaten egg and mix to form a sticky dough. It should come away from the sides of your bowl once it's ready to knead.
- Lightly flour a surface with plain flour and knead the dough for approximately 10 minutes. The dough is ready when you can pull the dough apart and it stretches without ripping.
- Using a pastry brush, oil another mixing bowl with sunflower oil and add the dough, flipping once to ensure it has an even coat of oil to avoid it preventing a crust.
- Top the bowl with an oiled piece of cling film and leave to prove in a warm room for 1 hour.
- Punch the dough to knock out the air, and then split into 16 even pieces of an even weight (this is important for even hot cross buns at the end!).
- Using the palm of your hand roll into a ball and line a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper with the balls of dough, leaving enough space between each to expand a little.
- Cover with a clean tea towel and leave to prove for 1 hour and heat your oven to 220°C.
- Mix the plain flour with about 6 tbsp of water to make the paste for the cross. Add the water a little at a time until you have a thick paste that you can pipe that isn't too runny or it will slide off the top of your buns.
- Pipe one long line along the top of each row, followed by a line in the opposite way to make your crosses.
- Bake for 15 minutes in the oven until golden brown.
- Add a little boiling water to the apricot jam in a small bowl and mix before using a pastry brush to paint the warm hot cross buns with the sticky glaze.
- Leave to cool and enjoy!