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Hot Cross Buns

Preparation method

Method

1.       Put the flour, sugar, salt, butter, mixed spice, nutmeg, cinnamon and the yeast into a large bowl and mix well. Make a well in the centre then pour in the tepid water and the egg. 

2.       Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead thoroughly for 10 minutes until silky smooth.  The dough can also be mixed and kneaded in a large electric mixer fitted with a dough hook – work on the lowest speed and knead for 6 minutes. Now add the mixed fruit, distribute evenly and knead.

3.       Return the dough to the bowl and cover with a snap-on lid or slip the bowl into a large plastic bag.  Leave in a warm spot for approximately 45 minutes.

4.       Punch down the risen dough and turn out onto a lightly floured work surface.  Divide the dough in to 17 equal pieces, approximately 70g each, and shape into balls.  Set well apart on the baking tray then slip the tray into a large plastic bag and leave to rise as before until doubled in size – this could take 60-75.  Meanwhile heat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/Gas Mark 6.

5.       To make the paste for the cross, mix the flour, water, salt and vegetable oil to make a smooth thick paste that is able to be piped.  Spoon into a greaseproof paper piping bag (or a small plastic bag) and snip off the tip.  Uncover the buns and pipe a paste cross onto each.

6.       Bake in the heated oven for about 15 minutes until golden brown. 

7.       Meanwhile, make the sticky glaze by heating the jam and water until dissolved.  Boil for one minute then brush over the buns as soon as they emerge from the oven.  Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool.

Bakers Tip

To make wholemeal hot cross buns, replace 500g Strong White flour with 500g Strong Wholemeal or Golden Wholegrain Strong flour and increase the water content from 215 ml to 230 ml.

what you will need

Ingredients

Makes 17 buns

Stage 1

500g Marriage’s Strong White bread flour

75g caster sugar

7g sea salt

25g ground mixed spice

5g freshly grated nutmeg

5g cinnamon

35g of fresh yeast or 2 sachet easy-blend dried yeast

75g unsalted butter, diced

215ml tepid water

1 large egg, lightly beaten

Stage 2

225g mixed dried fruit and peel

Stage 3 for the cross:

80g Marriage’s Strong White bread flour

100ml cold water

3g salt

40ml vegetable oil

Stage 4 for the glaze:

50g apricot jam

30ml of hot water

A baking tray covered in grease proof paper

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