By Lauren Reid
Last updated on: March 7, 2018 at 12:20 pm
In the lead-up to Easter, the supermarkets are overflowing with hot cross buns, but our friends from Scoffed Cooking School showed us how simple it is to make your own. Check out the video below, or print out our full recipe and get baking at home!
Simple hot cross buns
Recipe makes 15 small buns, or 12 medium-sized buns
Equipment you’ll need:
- Mixing bowls
- Measuring spoons and jug
- Baking tray (and paper if it’s not non-stick)
- Piping bag
Ingredients for the buns:
- 300mL milk
- 50g butter
- 500g strong bread flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 75g caster sugar
- 1TBSP vegetable oil
- 7g dried yeast
- 1 egg
- 75g sultanas
- 50g chopped dates
- 1 orange (for zesting)
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
Ingredients for the cross
- 75g plain flour
- water, for mixing
- 2 TBSP apricot jam, for glazing
- Combine flour, sultanas and dates, cinnamon and orange zest (as much or as little as tickles your tastebuds) in your mixing bowl and mix until ingredients are spread evenly through the mix.
- Pour milk into a saucepan and gently bring to the boil. Bring off the heat and place on a heatproof surface.
- Whisk in butter and caster sugar and, once the milk has cooled slightly (don’t get too eager!), whisk in the yeast and egg.
- Make a well in the dry ingredients and slowly pour the milk mixture in, while stirring.
- Keep stirring until the mixture forms a dough, then turn out onto a clean and floured surface (for example, your benchtop or a chopping board).
- Knead the dough for about five minutes, until it’s smooth.
- Pop the dough in a clean bowl, cover with cling wrap and leave in a warm place for an hour. It should be about double in size after this resting time.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface again, shape it into long log and then chop into as many pieces as you’d like buns (this mixture should make 15 small or 12 medium buns).
- Roll each piece into a ball shape and then arrange them on a non-stick (or lined) baking tray, slightly touching each other. Leave to rise for another hour.
- Get your oven pre-heating ready for baking – you’ll need it at about 220 degrees Celsius (200 degrees fan-forced).
- To make the cross, mix the flour with a few small pours of water, until it makes a thick paste.
- Transfer the paste into a piping bag and pipe across the rows of buns to form a cross pattern.
- Bake for 20 mins, or until golden brown. Keep an eye on the buns throughout, because when baking at a high temperature things can overcook or burn quickly.
- To make the glaze, heat the apricot jam in a saucepan over medium heat until it softens and thins out slightly.
- Brush the jam onto the warm buns, and let it set for a little while before cracking them open, slathering with butter and gobbling them right up!
Some handy hints:
- Your dough will rise more on a hot day and less on a cold day, so keep this in mind.
- You could substitute the sultanas and dates for other mix-ins – milk choc chips are the obvious choice, but why not try cranberries and dark chocolate, or blueberries and white chocolate? Mixed peel makes a delicious – and far more traditional – option for the more traditional bakers among us.
- You could add some extra spice by working in some cinnamon, nutmeg or allspice to the initial dry mix.
- If you’re struggling to use up all your hot cross buns and are finding they’re looking a bit stale, why not fry them up as French toast? Or layer them into a bread and butter pudding? Yum!