The last (and first) time I made any kind of bun was when I made these brioche burger buns. Appearance wise, they turned out pretty well – nice and round and fairly uniform. Unfortunately it seems that this success has gone to my head. I had visions of turning out perfect little homemade hot cross buns that would make bakers the world over green with envy… Err, OK, I’m exaggerating, but I was expecting pretty round buns rather than the misshapen, oddly sized ones I ended up with!
Nevertheless, I managed to pick out a few of the prettiest ones for photos and happily scoffed the less attractive ones! This recipe makes a huge batch of 16 – go ahead and half it if that sounds like too much temptation! I put 10 of mine in the freezer so I can indulge in homemade hot cross buns for weeks (ahem, days…). They freeze really well and defrost in about 15 minutes. If you’re too impatient, chuck it in the toaster and top with butter + jam for a seriously indulgent breakfast!
The more I bake with yeast, the more I realise how totally easy it is. Yes, really! Of course you have to factor in proving time but there’s so little hands-on time (particularly if you have a mixer) and nothing particularly complicated to do. If you’re scared of homemade breads + buns (no shame – I was for years!) then give these homemade hot cross buns a go. I promise you’ll change your mind!
- 50g butter
- 300ml milk
- 7g sachet yeast
- 500g strong bread flour, sifted
- 2 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1 tsp salt
- 75g caster sugar
- 125g sultanas
- 1 egg, beaten
- 50g plain flour
- 3-4 tbsp water
- 4 tbsp runny honey
- 1 tbsp boiling water
- Add the butter and milk to a saucepan over a low heat until the butter has melted. Remove from the heat. If your yeast needs dissolved (check the label) add it to the warm mixture and stir.
- Add the yeast (if not added to the milk), flour, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, salt, sugar and sultanas to a large bowl and mix. Create a well in the centre then add the milk/butter mixture and beaten egg. Mix until a soft dough forms.
- Using a dough hook or by hand, knead the dough for about 5 minutes until smooth and elastic. Tip into a large oiled bowl and cover with oiled clingfilm or a damp teatowel. Leave in a warm place to rise for an hour, or until doubled in size.
- Divide the dough into 16 equal sized pieces and roll each into a ball. Spread out on a baking tray and leave to rise for a further hour.
- Preheat oven to 180c. To make the cross, mix the flour and water to form a thick paste. Using a piping bottle or teaspoon, drizzle the paste across each bun to form a cross. Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden. Remove to a cooling rack.
- Mix the honey and boiling water together then use a pastry brush to create a shiny glaze on each bun.