When I was growing up hot cross buns weren’t readily available all year round (as they are now!) and I remember my excitement at seeing them appear on bakery shelves and knowing that Easter holidays were approaching. They are another one of those treats that evoke childhood memories of family gatherings, Easter craft projects and feeling impatient during the Easter Sunday morning church service knowing that there would a chocolate egg hunt afterwards! And of course the memory of enjoying fresh hot cross buns over the Easter weekend.
There’s nothing frilly or quirky about these particular hot cross buns, but they deliver that classic fruity and spicy flavour that we love and look forward to at this time of the year. I love the balance of spice in this particular recipe and that they are super fruity. The sticky apricot jam glaze is the finishing touch to these treats, and I hope you’ll whip up a batch soon. Please do share your pics over on Instagram, I’d love to see them!
CLASSIC HOT CROSS BUNS
For the dough:
- 250ml (1 cup) full cream milk
- 7.5ml (1½ tsp) instant dry yeast
- 1 large egg
- 375g (13 oz) flour
- 5ml (1 tsp) mixed spice
- 5ml (1 tsp) cinnamon
- 2.5ml (½ tsp) nutmeg
- 35g (1 oz) castor sugar
- 2.5ml (½ tsp) salt
- 150g (5 oz) mixed raisins
- 2 tbsp citrus peel
- 60g (2 oz) flour, for the crosses
- 75ml (5 tbsp) water
- 30ml (2 tbsp) smooth apricot jam
1.) Warm the milk (not too hot) and add the yeast. Leave to stand for 5 minutes. Add the egg and mix gently.
2.) Place the flour, mixed spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, castor sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add most of the wet ingredients and mix to form a soft dough (add the remaining liquid as required). Knead the dough for 10 minutes until soft, stretchy and slightly sticky.
3.) Lightly oil the mixing bowl. Pop the dough back in the bowl, cover and leave in a warm place for 1-2 hours until the dough has doubled in size.
4.) Add the mixed raisins and citrus peel to the bowl and mix these into the dough. Line a tray with baking paper. Divide the dough into 12 pieces, roll and arrange these on the tray. Leave some space between the buns as they will expand. Cover and leave in a warm place for 30 minutes.
5.) Towards the end of the proofing time preheat the oven to 180ºC. Mix the flour and water in a small bowl until you have a smooth paste. Place the paste in a piping bag or a sandwich bag with a small hole cut in one corner. Pipe crosses onto the buns.
6.) Bake the buns for 25 minutes, or until golden and baked through. Warm the apricot jam in the microwave for a few seconds until runny. Brush the jam over the hot buns and set aside to cool slightly.