• Step 1
    Mix the dough

    Bring the milk to the boil, then remove from the heat and add the butter. Leave to cool until it reaches hand temperature. Put the flour, salt, sugar and yeast (see Tip on recipe) into a bowl. Make a well in the centre. Pour in the warm milk and butter mixture, then add the egg. Using a wooden spoon, mix well, then bring everything together with your hands until you have a sticky dough.

  • Step 2
    Knead the dough

    Tip on to a lightly floured surface and knead 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 5 mins until smooth and elastic. Put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with oiled cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hr or until doubled in size and a finger pressed into it leaves a dent.

  • Step 3
    Add the fruit

    With the dough still in the bowl, tip in the sultanas, mixed peel, orange zest, apple and cinnamon. Knead into the dough, making sure everything is well distributed. Leave to rise for 1 hr more, or until doubled in size, again covered by some well-oiled cling film to stop the dough getting a crust.

  • Step 4
    Divide into buns

    Divide the dough into 15 even pieces (about 75g per piece – see Tip on recipe). Roll each piece into a smooth ball on a lightly floured work surface. Arrange the buns on one or two baking trays lined with parchment, leaving enough space for the dough to expand. Cover (but don’t wrap) with more oiled cling film, or a clean tea towel, then set aside to prove for 1 hr more.

  • Step 5
    Pipe and bake

    Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Mix the flour with about 5 tbsp water to make the paste for the cross – add the water 1 tbsp at a time, so 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 (see Tip on recipe). Bake for 20 mins on the middle shelf of the oven, until golden brown.

  • Step 6
    Brush with jam

    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.

1
Mix the dough
2
Knead the dough
3
Add the fruit
4
Divide into buns
5
Pipe and bake
6
Brush with jam

Hot cross buns

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(79 ratings)

By

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Cooking time

Prep: 30 mins Cook: 20 mins Plus proving

Skill level

Moderately easy

Servings

Makes 15

Follow master baker Paul Hollywood's ultimate step-by-step guide to creating perfectly decorated fruit buns

Nutrition and extra info

Additional info

  • Freezable
Nutrition info

Nutrition per serving

kcalories
226
protein
5g
carbs
41g
fat
4g
saturates
2g
fibre
2g
sugar
14g
salt
0.5g
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Ingredients

For the buns

  • 300ml full-fat milk, plus 2 tbsp more
  • 50g butter
  • 500g strong bread flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 7g sachet fast-action or easy-blend yeast
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 75g sultanas
  • 50g mixed peel
  • zest 1 orange
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

For the cross

  • 75g plain flour, plus extra for dusting

For the glaze

  • 3 tbsp apricot jam

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Method

Launch step-by-step
  1. Bring the milk to the boil, then remove from the heat and add the butter. Leave to cool until it reaches hand temperature. Put the flour, salt, sugar and yeast (see Tip, below) into a bowl. Make a well in the centre. Pour in the warm milk and butter mixture, then add the egg. Using a wooden spoon, mix well, then bring everything together with your hands until you have a sticky dough.
  2. Tip on to a lightly floured surface and knead 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 5 mins until smooth and elastic. Put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with oiled cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hr or until doubled in size and a finger pressed into it leaves a dent.
  3. With the dough still in the bowl, tip in the sultanas, mixed peel, orange zest, apple and cinnamon. Knead into the dough, making sure everything is well distributed. Leave to rise for 1 hr more, or until doubled in size, again covered by some well-oiled cling film to stop the dough getting a crust.
  4. Divide the dough into 15 even pieces (about 75g per piece – see Tip below). Roll each piece into a smooth ball on a lightly floured work surface. Arrange the buns on one or two baking trays lined with parchment, leaving enough space for the dough to expand. Cover (but don’t wrap) with more oiled cling film, or a clean tea towel, then set aside to prove for 1 hr more.
  5. Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Mix the flour with about 5 tbsp water to make the paste for the cross – add the water 1 tbsp at a time, so 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 (see Tip below). Bake for 20 mins on the middle shelf of the oven, until golden brown.
  6. 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.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, April 2012

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Comments

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lseastwood's picture
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Morrisons also sell fresh yeast

suefoodtech's picture

Like others I added fruit and spice at beginning and therefore missed out on one prove. Also, they were a tad too wet and sticky, so maybe just the 500g flour and not the additional 2 tablespoons would suffice. Delicious though and definitely recommended. The Kenwood dough hook makes light work of kneading too.....though not as therapeutic as doing it oneself!

sharryh70's picture

The last time I made HXB you could of used them as doorstops! This recipe is fantastic but I must admit I have made a few tweaks, Soaked my fruit in a little warm brandy with my Christmas spice mix, then added 50g of walnuts instead of mixed peel.

Zubs's picture

Delicious. I doubled the cinnamon & added 1 tsp of mixed spice. The next time I'd double the raisins to make them fruitier. Btw : I only did 2 risings, not three as suggested. Also they were done in 15 mins. Worked well for me.

laxtitute's picture
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Alright, so I'm not a Hollywood fan because I don't like people who are that arrogant, however I do have to concede that he is a hero for putting this recipe up here. These hot cross buns are delicious, the spices are wonderful and they taste infinitely better than any you can buy. However, the best thing about them is the texture. I, like so many other people I have spoken to, have tried making hot cross buns before and they're so chewy and horrible, but these were light and beautifully soft. Will make these every year since this recipe really does produce the best hot cross buns you could want!

nehalmc's picture

I love the addition of apple and the apricot jam brushing. I've made these for 2 years in a row and they have been a great success. A couple of things I would alter here: Addition of all spice or a mixture of ginger/nutmeg would greatly improve the taste. I found these a bit bland. Also, for the piping mixture, I mix 1 part icing sugar with 2 parts flour.

mazzastar16's picture

Tried this recipe today and noted it doesn't follow the same format as Paul demonstrates on the GBBO. The recipe above states in step 2 that the mixture should be left for 1 hr before adding the fruit and spices, whereas Paul adds these to his mixture once he has combined the flour, milk, butter and egg salt and yeast. This means he only leaves the dough to rise twice, not the three times as advised here - confusing !

nehalmc's picture

Yes, I've wondered that too. That would cut a third of the preparation time. I've seen other recipes online that only require proving twice.

patricia.bell@mail.com's picture
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The tastiest hot cross buns ever. Yes , there were lots of steps to making them but so worth the effort.

richardnoble's picture

Tried to make these Hot Cross Buns, and although they were very fiddly and time consuming they were easy to do and delicious!

bezza110's picture
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Sorry forgot to do the stars

bezza110's picture
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My first attempt at HXB and was not disappointed. Left out the mixed peel but added extra sultanas and doubled the cinnamon and added 1tsp mixed spice.

bizzoh's picture
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Very time-consuming but worthwhile!

Modifications:

1) added mixed spice.
2) cooked for 15 mins.
3) glazed with diluted golden syrup.

Deliciously light texture. Excellent.

greenjade6's picture
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I found the dough far too wet so, like another of the reviewers, I added more flour. Again like others I found that the buns got too brown, even after just 15 minutes and needed more spice too. Personally I think that they are much better eaten like toasted teacakes rather than just as they are. I don't think that I'll be making them again, but searching for another hot cross bun recipe instead.

jstone4's picture
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Takes a bit of time but the end result is delicious! I can't wait to make them again!!!

warthog's picture

These buns are really scrumptious and Paul Hollywood's recipes always come up trumps. A word of warning, though, Good Food often changes recipes, so it is not as Paul demonstrated and I would recommend that you watch it the TV episode.. For example, he adds the dried fruit before resting the dough. This isnt the only discrepancy I have discovered in general,in particular, with Paul's chelsea buns and here the mistakes are more annoying, when they omit ingredients and a give incorrect amounts for some of the key ingredients. It may sound nit-picking, but if a novice tries the recipes for the chelsea buns they would be disappointed with the results.

christineash's picture

I've made Deila's and Nigella's, but these are the best by far. Our new firm favourite.

lmouat's picture
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Lovely jubbly :-) and I too would add a little more spice! Turned out great and my first attempt too! Jut took an age to do though!

lucylacy's picture
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Deliciously tasty and fruity hot cross buns, they went down a treat. I forgot to glaze them which was a pity as they would have looked so much better but the taste was amazing. I used mixed peel that I bought in a box and had to chop up (sorry I can't recall the make but bought it in Waitrose) and found this far superior to the stuff you buy ready chopped up in tubs and well worth the extra cost - there's no comparison on flavour and texture. As they have three risings they're a bit time consuming but well worth the effort.

GrinAndBearIt's picture
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Oh and I added the fruit and spices to the flour at the beginning as some have suggested, to make them easier to mix in - worked a treat.

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