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Classic hot cross buns

A no-fuss, traditional hot cross bun recipe, best suited for the purists.

By Lisa Featherby
  • 20 mins preparation
  • 20 mins cooking plus proving
  • Serves 9
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In this hot cross bun recipe, we've used vegetable oil in place of butter – it gives these buns a softer crumb and helps them keep longer. Though, if you're curious, we have more recipe variations of the hot cross bun.

Ingredients

  • 500 gm plain flour
  • 1 tsp (about 1 sachet) dried yeast
  • 50 gm brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp allspice
  • ½ nutmeg, finely grated
  • 350 ml lukewarm milk
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 50 gm currants
  • 30 gm mixed peel
  • Softened butter, to serve
Flour paste
  • 40 gm plain flour
Glaze
  • 55 gm (1⁄4 cup) caster sugar

Method

  • 1
    Combine flour, yeast, sugar, spices and a large pinch of salt in a large bowl. Add milk and vegetable oil and mix to a smooth dough (it will be a little sticky). Mix in the currants and mixed peel, place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover bowl with a damp tea towel and leave to prove until doubled in size (11⁄2-2 hours)
  • 2
    Preheat oven to 190°C and line a 22cm-square cake tin with baking paper. Knock back dough and, with lightly floured hands, divide it into 9 even pieces. Roll each under your hand in a circular motion until smooth and round (you may need to dust them lightly with a little flour to prevent sticking), then arrange evenly in the tin and leave to prove until doubled in size (30 minutes).
  • 3
    For flour paste, mix flour and 50ml water to a thick paste that will hold its shape when piped – add a little more flour or water if necessary. Transfer to a small plastic bag, snip off a corner and pipe crosses on the buns. Bake until golden and cooked through (20-22 minutes). Cool in tin for 10 minutes, then turn out and cool on a wire rack.
  • 4
    For glaze, mix sugar with 50ml boiling water in a bowl, stirring until dissolved. While buns are still hot, brush with glaze, then leave to cool until just warm or room temperature. Serve with butter. Hot cross buns will keep for 2 days in an airtight container.

Notes

To serve the buns in the morning, prepare the dough the night before and prove it overnight in the fridge. In the morning, roll the dough into balls and prove them again before baking.

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  • Author: Lisa Featherby