Easter Buns (Hot Cross)

I think I will take out shares in Paul Hollywood as once again I have used his recipe to create these wonderful Easter treats. My sons are becoming more involved with the kitchen and were responsible for the final shape and form of the buns. You will need:

For the buns
  • 300ml/10fl oz whole milk
  • 500g/1lb 2oz strong white flour
  • 75g/2½oz caster sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 7g sachet fast-action yeast
  • 50g/1¾oz butter
  • 1 free-range egg, beaten
  • 75g/2½oz sultanas
  • 50g/1¾oz mixed peel
  • 1 apple, cored and chopped
  • 1 orange, zest only
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • sunflower oil, for greasing the bowl
For the cross
  • 75g/2½oz plain flour, plus extra for dusting
For the glaze
    • 3 tbsp apricot jam

    Preparation method

    • Bring the milk to the boil and then remove from the heat and leave to cool until it reaches hand temperature.
    • Mix the flour, sugar, salt, yeast, butter and egg together in a bowl, then slowly add the warmed milk until it forms a soft, sticky dough.
    • Add the sultanas, mixed peel, chopped apple and orange zest, then tip out of the bowl onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough by holding the dough with one hand and stretching it with the heal of the other hand, then folding it back on itself. Repeat for five minutes, or until smooth and elastic.


    • Put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with oiled cling film and leave to rise for approximately one hour, or until doubled in size.

    Hot Cross Buns - 2

    • Divide the dough into 12 even pieces, and roll each piece into a smooth ball on a lightly floured surface. Arrange the buns on a baking tray lined with parchment, leaving enough space so that the buns just touch when they rise and expand. Set aside to prove for another hour.

    Hot Cross Buns - 3

    • Heat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7.
    • For the cross, mix the flour with about five tablespoons of water in small bowl, adding the water one tablespoon at a time, so that you add just enough for a thick paste. Spoon into a piping bag with a small nozzle. Pipe a line along each row of buns, then repeat in the other direction to create crosses.

    Hot Cross Buns - 4

    • Bake for 20-25 minutes on the middle shelf of the oven, or until golden-brown.

    Hot Cross Buns - 7

    • Gently heat the apricot jam to melt, then sieve to get rid of any chunks. While the jam is still warm, brush over the top of the warm buns and leave to cool. Gently rip the buns apart to serve, revealing temptingly soft edges.

    Hot Cross Buns - 9


Rock buns

Grandma Harris’ recipe

I don’t usually have this much time to bake and blog however we are on a mid term break so I have a bit of time. Today the occasion is an impromptu visit from my sister and her two little ones. As a result I have been in the kitchen early this morning putting together a few belly banging treats for everyone. My son is also expecting a good friend who moved to Kansas 3 years ago over for the day.

Sybil’s finest

These rock buns come from a recipe that I scribbled down one day (moons ago) when I had the privilege of standing over my Grandma’s shoulder while she effortlessly threw them together for tea one day. To this day it is one my most cherished kitchen memories as she was both an exceptional baker and second mother to me while I was away at boarding school. Sorely missed Sybil :’0(.

This makes about 16 nuggets of sheer nostalgic joy.

  • 8 oz self raising flour
  • 5 oz butter / marg
  • 5 oz sugar (I used caster)
  • 6 oz dried mixed fruit
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 egg to bind
  • Demerara sugar to top (optional)

Sift flour and spice into bowl then rub in the butter to large crumb consistency. Stir in sugar and fruit then bind together with the egg. It may need a splash of milk depending on the size of your egg. The dough should not be too sticky and leave the bowl cleanly. Spoon t-spoon sized blobs onto a greased baking sheet and top with a pinch of demerara  and bake at 200 c / 400 f for 10 -12 mins. Allow to cool – if you can resist :0)

I had to have this one