St Peter's 13-18
Hot cross buns are an Easter treat and tradition. These easy-to-make buns are packed full of fruit and finished with an apricot jam glaze. Enjoy toasted and topped with lots of butter.
For the buns:
- 625g strong white flour
- 2tsp mixed spice
- 45g unsalted butter, cubed
- 85g caster sugar
- Zest of one lemon
- 1 ½ tsp dried yeast
- 1 egg
- 275ml milk
- 125g mixed fruit (currants, sultanas and mixed peel)
For the cross topping and glaze
- 2tbsp plain flour
- 2tbsp water
- 2tbsp apricot jam
- Preheat oven to 240C/220C.
- For the buns, sieve the flour, salt and mixed spice into a large mixing bowl, then rub in the butter using your fingertips. Make a well in the centre of the mixture, then add the sugar, lemon zest and yeast. Beat the egg and add to the flour with the tepid milk. Mix together to form a soft, pliable dough.
- Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Carefully work the mixed dried fruit into the dough until well combined. Knead lightly for 5 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Try to keep the fruit inside the dough so they aren’t popping out as they may burn during the cooking process.
- Shape the dough into a ball and place into the bowl, then cover with a clean tea-towel and set aside in a warm place for 1 hour to prove.
- Turn out the proved dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knock back the dough (push strongly with clean hands). Shape into a ball again and return to the bowl, then cover again with the tea-towel and set aside for a further 30 minutes to rise.
- Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and divide into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, then flatten slightly into a bun shape using the palms of your hands. Cover the buns again with the tea-towel and set aside to rest for 5–10 minutes.
- Grease a baking tray with butter and transfer the buns to the tray. Wrap the tray very loosely in baking paper, then cover loosely in lightly oiled cling film. Set aside in a warm place for a further 40 minutes to rise.
- Meanwhile, for the topping, mix the plain flour to a fairly thick smooth paste with 2 tablespoons cold water (you may need to use slightly less or more water to get the right consistency). When the buns have risen, remove the cling film and the greaseproof paper. Spoon the flour mixture into a piping bag (or a plastic food bag with a corner snipped away) and pipe a cross on each bun.
- Transfer the buns to the oven and bake for 8–12 minutes, or until pale golden brown. As soon as you remove the buns from the oven, brush them with the hot apricot jam, then set them aside to cool on a wire rack.