Friday, March 29, 2013

Hot Cross Buns

You can't fully celebrate Easter without some Hot Cross Buns and this year I'd thought I'd make my own. For this batch, I've tinkered around a little with this recipe by Paul Hollywood.

Hot Cross BunsĀ© by Haalo

I'm not a candied peel fan, so I've replaced it with dried apricots - I find that the orange zest intensifies their flavour. I've also used soft brown sugar as I like its richer taste. Aesthetically, I haven't made them as individual buns - I've placed them in a smaller tray so they rise into each other giving it that pull-apart look.

Hot Cross BunsĀ© by Haalo

Hot Cross Buns
[Makes 12]

7 grams dry yeast
500 grams plain flour
70 grams soft brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup tepid milk, approx
50 grams butter, diced
1 egg, lightly beaten
70 grams sultanas
70 dried apricots, finely diced
1 apple, peel, cored and finely chopped
zest of 1 orange

Note: You'll find the method is fairly similar to these hot cross buns I've made - there's a few more photos of the intermediate steps that you might find useful.

Place the yeast, a small spoonful of sugar and a little tepid milk into a bowl - stir to dissolve and place in a warm spot for 5 minutes. If the mixture is expanding, then the yeast is fine and you can continue with the recipe. If it isn't then that means the yeast is dead and you'll need to start the process again with some more yeast.

Place the butter into the pan of tepid milk and stir until the butter has dissolved.

Sift the flour, salt and sugar into a large bowl - stir through the sultanas, apricots, apple and orange zest so that they are evenly spread through the flour. Make a well in the center and add the beaten egg and milk, stirring until a soft dough has formed. As all flour has different absorption rates, you may need to add more milk to get the dough to the right consistency.

Turn out onto a floured board and knead until smooth and elastic. Form into a ball and place in an oiled bowl - cover with plastic wrap and put it in a warm spot to rise.

When risen, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board. Knead briefly and then divide the dough into 12 pieces. Roll each into a ball and arrange in a shallow sided baking tin - I used a 19x30cm tin. Cover once again and let it rise in a warm place for about an hour.

To make the pastry cross:
Mix 2 tablespoons plain flour with 1 tablespoon water and stir until it forms a smooth paste. Place in a piping bag with a straight nozzle and carefully pipe crosses over the buns.

Bake the buns in a preheated 170°C oven for about 30 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Remove from the oven and brush the tops with warm sugar syrup - you could also glaze the buns with warmed apricot jam.

Slide the buns out onto a wire rack to cool.

Enjoy them warm from the oven or better yet, toasted with lashings of good butter.

Zorra is celebrating her new-look blog by having a blogwarming party as the theme of Bread Baking Day so I'm sending a warm batch of these buns with my best wishes.


  1. I tried making hot cross buns for the first time this year, and unfortunately they turned out more like normal fruit scones! Still not a bad thing to have, but not as delicious as a hot cross bun!

  2. Thank you for these lovely buns. Me too I am not a big fan of candied peel, so I love the idea of using dried apricots.


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