Thursday, 12 March 2009

Hot Cross Buns

Q: What do you get if you pour hot water down a rabbit hole?
A: Hot cross bunnies!

Sorry, I couldn't resist!

As Easter is now fast approaching I thought I would share with you the recipe for one my favourite Easter treats, hot cross buns.

So what are hot cross buns? They are spicy, fruity bread buns which are made and sold for Easter. They have a cross marked on top, usually made of flour dough but sometimes icing or pastry is used. Traditionally they were made for Good Friday but these days they are available throughout Easter, some supermarkets have even started selling them year round.Hot cross buns are fantastic toasted, spread with melting butter they are just sublime, in fact I wouldn't eat them any other way.

Of course you can just buy them from any good bakery and I'm sure they would be fine but there's something special about making them yourself, homemade just tastes that bit better. Making your own also means you're free to tinker with the recipe, you can choose your favourite fruits and spices, and you get them at their freshest, straight from the oven. I've adapted my recipe from this one, it's a good recipe, the buns were spicy, fruity and delicious!

They do take a lot longer to rise than the original recipe stated, I left mine for a good 90 minutes before baking. You may also need to add a little more flour than is listed, your looking for a dough that is slightly sticky but you should be able to handle it without it clinging to your hands.

Hot cross buns recipe

  • 2 oz Caster sugar
  • 1 sachet (7g) of easy blend yeast
  • 1 lb plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 heaped teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 oz Raisins, sultanas or other dried fruit
  • The finely grated zest of an orange
  • 2 oz mixed peel
  • 4 fl. oz. Water
  • 4 fl. oz milk
  • 2 oz melted butter
  • 1 beaten egg
For the Cross (optional)
Mix these together to form the paste that is piped into the buns
  • 4 tablespoons plain flour
  • 1 tablespoon caster sugar
  • 3-4 tablespoons water
  • In a large bowl add the sugar, yeast, flour, salt and spices. Mix well
  • Add the dried fruit, zest and peel to the bowl and mix
  • Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and add the water, milk, butter and egg, bring the mixture together with your hands to form a dough. If it feels too sticky add more flour now.
  • Knead the dough on a hard surface for 10 minutes until it fells smooth and elastic.
  • Put the dough back in the mixing bowl and cover, leave to rise until it has doubled in size, up to 2 hours.
  • Knock the dough back until it is the original size and split into 12 pieces.
  • Roll the pieces into buns and place on an oiled baking tray, cover and leave to rise for around 90 minutes or until they have doubled in size.
  • To make the cross mix the flour sugar and water together in a bowl, put the mixture into a small plastic bag. Snip the corner off the bag and pipe the mixture in a cross shape onto the buns.
  • Bake in a preheated oven at gas mark 7/220c/425f for 15-20 minutes.
  • To glaze warm some honey or golden syrup and brush over you buns with a pastry brush


Hopie said...

We don't really have hot cross buns in the US and, yet, as children we all grow up singing about them, which makes for a nation of frustrated children all wanting hot cross buns and getting none ;-) Yours look delicious!

pigpigscorner said...

I love hot cross buns! Haven't had it in awhile..yours look great!

Anonymous said...

My mom used to make hot cross buns for Easter when we were growing up. They weren't as spiced as yours--my mother is a bit timid in the spicing department! Yours look wonderful. Personally, I'm a fan of the icing cross--my dad wanted to do away with the cross part completely and just have them completely coated w/a confectioner's sugar glaze. Kind of defeats the whole symbology angle, but my dad is a sugar freak!

Antonia said...

Adore hot cross buns (...all year round if I'm honest). Never tried making my own though so perhaps this will be the year!

Joie de vivre said...

The only hot cross buns I've ever had are from the store, trust me, they are not fine. Yours look 1000 times better than anything found in a store.

Christina said...

I love hot cross buns. My mom started making them every year and now I do. My preference is a spicy, not as sweet dough, with the pastry icing. I do give the buns a little glaze to make it shiny near the end of the baking time.
Like you said, these are the best when toasted, as it brings the spices out.

Kadeeae said...

These look great, Sam - if you ever decide to set up an online shop, let me know! :-))

Karen said...

Looks good! I make hot cross buns every year around Easter. So yummy!

Pam said...

Oh my...these look outstanding! I could eat 2 or 3 of these beauties.

Foodycat said...

Mmmm - getting to that time of year again! We're not going away for Easter, so I might have a go at these. The last time I made them was not a success.

Sam said...

Hopie: They could always make their own!

pigpigscorner: Thanks, I hadn't either, that's why I made some!

Onlinepastrychef: I like mine to be really spicy! I've never made them with an icing cross before.

Antonia: I could eat them any time too, not just for easter!

Joie de vivre: There goods from the shops here, but you could try making your own!

Christina: Yours sound great too!

Kadeeae: Will do! can't say it's going to be anytime soon though, sorry!

Karen: That's great, you should post the recipe.

Pam: Thanks!

Foodycat: I've had my fair share of failures too, I think the trick is to give them lots of time, they rise much slower than normal bread, I don't know why.

Joie de vivre said...

Just saying hi Sam. Thanks, as always, for your comments on my blog.

Amanda said...

I also did not grow up eating these, but knew some people who did here in the US. I think it's definitely a regional thing.

Yours look delicious!

Katie said...

These look great. I can't resist the aroma of toasting hot cross bun.

Anne said...

They look delicious Sam, I keep meaning to make them, must remember this Easter!

Unlikely, but if you have any that go a little stale, I made a bread pudding out of them yesterday with an extra 1/2 tsp of cinnamon in the custard, was really good :)

Kadeeae said...

Hi Sam-

I'm tagging you to participate in the Snippets Alphabet Challenge! :-) Please follow the link to my final Snippets Alphabet post for the very easy instructions. Good luck and enjoy!

A Girl Has To Eat said...

oh I love hot cross buns, especially toasted hot, with lots of melted butter.

Andrea said...

Poor bunnies! ;-) You know, I've actually never had a hot cross bun, although I remember learning the song when I was a beginner on the piano. What is wrong with me! I need to make hot cross buns!

gastroanthropologist said...

Since living in the UK I'm suprised at how easy it is to get hot crossed buns (even prepacked at the grocery store!). In the US hot cross buns are mostly a childrens nursery rhyme and something maybe your grandma made. Yours, of course, looks way more tasty that the prepacked grocery kind! Your site has changed a bit - looking good!

Cooking and the City said...

I love hot cross buns and these look really tasty :-)

Gill the Painter said...

what fabulous shaped hot cross bunnies.
They're super

& I've popped you blog onto my blog - I like the style