Mellow Mummy: Cooking with Children :: Hot Cross Buns Recipe : Taking life as it comes...

Monday 26 March 2012

Cooking with Children :: Hot Cross Buns Recipe

hot cross buns recipe

Lara and I have been baking in preparation for Easter weekend. I've never made Hot Cross Buns before in my life but I seem to remember my Mum finding them quite tricky to get right. I guess that most people's expectations of a Hot Cross Bun are shaped by the soft, flat things you see in supermarkets - these a definitely not soft or flat! Baking is a good way to get children involved in the story of Easter - Lara seemed genuinely interested when I explained the origin of the cross on the bun.

I adapted this recipe for volume and ingredients (I'm not a great fan of mixed peel) from a Mary Berry classic recipe.


10g cold butter
15g plain flour
8g caster sugar
splash of water

250g strong white bread flour
30g caster sugar
1/2 a 7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground mixed spice
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1⁄4 tsp ground nutmeg
75ml milk
75ml hot water
30g butter, melted and cooled
1 small egg, beaten
150g mixed dried fruit
sunflower oil for greasing

2 tbsp caster sugar
2 tbsp water

  • Make some shortcrust pastry by rubbing together the cold butter and plain flour with your fingertips and then combining the small amount of caster sugar and just enough water to bring the ingredients together in a dough. Chill this in the fridge until much later.
  • hot cross bun dough
  • Sift (or if you're Lara, just plonk) the bread flour, sugar, yeast, salt, mixed spice, cinnamon and nutmeg into a big mixing bowl.
  • Make a little well in the middle and add the milk and water then mix together.
  • Add the egg and the mixed fruit and bring together to a very soft dough.
  • Knead the dough on a well-floured surface for at least 5 minutes (Lara lost interest after 2!). It should be really soft and stretchy by the time that you're done. Then leave it in an oiled mixing bowl with a piece of oiled cling film or a tea towel over the top in a nice warm place to rise for about 1.5 hours until it has doubled in size.
  • kneading hot cross bun dough
  • When you take the dough out from it's cosy hiding place, you will need to 'knock it back' i.e. give it another good kneading to0 make sure there are no huge air bubbles anywhere. Split the dough into 6 balls and shape them. Place them on a greased or lined baking tray.
  • making crosses for hot cross buns
  • Fetch the shortcrust pastry from the fridge and roll it out to a few millimetres thick. Cut strips about 1cm wide and stick them to the top of each bun using a little water.
  • Put the buns somewhere really warm to rise for another half hour while you preheat the oven to a very toasty 200 degrees centigrade.
  • Bake the hot cross buns for 15 minutes (ours were a touch overcooked) and while they cook, make the glaze.
  • Dissolve the sugar in the water in a small pan over a low heat until it forms a syrup. As soon as you take the buns out of the oven, paint the glaze over each bun to give them a shiny golden glow.
  • Serve warm... ideally cut in half and toasted... with a knob of butter. Mmmmmm. i feel all easter-y just typing this up!

homemade hot cross buns
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