Hot cross buns

Hot cross buns

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(72 ratings)

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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

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

  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

Comments, questions and tips

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Comments

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georginakonyves's picture
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Wow. A fantastic recipe. They taste and look delicious. You do have to set aside a bit of time to make these but the results are so worth it. I will never buy them from the shop again!

dromin123's picture
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After watching Paul make these I had to give them a try. Very pleased with the result. I had to give more time for the first proving, maybe my kitchen was too cold!
I just loved the flavour of the orange coming through. I will definitely make them again.

deeson's picture

I do not understand why on the tv programme the not x buns were made with only two hour proves. One with all the ingredients, then a prove and then divided into buns and a prove again. BUT the recipe asks for three proves, ie 3 hours. The flour, Suva, egg, milk and yeast, then kneaded, left for an hour and then add the fruit etc. I think I prefer the one I watched last night which was much easier. Is the recipe on the Internet wrong.

bacon-n-egg's picture
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I watched Paul Hollywood last night (Easter special) and his version of prep with this was completely different. This has 3 rises which I've never done before. I didnt get a decent rise either and mine were heavy and definitely not fluffy like the ones he showed us. Why 3 rises? The second rise should be when the buns are shaped and on the tray.

Added more spice than shown & mixed spice as per other recipes.

Another complaint was the dough crosses there were tough and inedible.

Prefer to glaze with local honey.

karene's picture
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Really good recipe. Made with a class of 23 5 to 7 seven year olds. They loved the end result. Excellent.

jen-lewis's picture
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I made these today but was short of time so put all ingredients in my bread maker on the dough option just to mix and prove the dough. This worked beautifully, lovely tasty hot cross buns. I added more spice too!

emilycox85's picture
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I've made these twice now! delicious! although i didnt used the apple this time wish i did though as they are a little dry : )

solentgreen's picture
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These are perfect for celebrating that our Lord Jesus was nailed to a cross and crucified to death for our sins. Yummy! We like to inject one with Raspberry jam, the person who gets the jammy one has to wear a crown of thorns for the whole of Easter, just a silly family tradition!

rezvan's picture
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Followed the recipe to the letter or almost...just added extra cinnamon . They turned out perfectly. Easy recipe, simple steps. This was my first attempt so very pleased.

lauriem78's picture

First time making HCBs - these turned out reasonably well. It is very time consuming but that was fine as I managed to bake cookies and tidy the kitchen whilst it was rising. Really wish I'd read the comments here first, next time: more spice, less liquid, and use something else as glaze (no apricot jam so didn't bother with a glaze)

joannatraynor's picture

I have only ever made hot cross buns once before - good ammunition for a stone throwing contest. This time - better but wish I had read the comments first. I always follow a recipe to the letter so when I saw after 15 minutes they looked perfect, I didn't have the nerve to take them out in case they weren't cooked properly in the middle -so a bit burnt - but still very light and edible. Will try again. Also took a long time a few buns. My husband was chewing his elbow by the time they came out.

glaskin42's picture
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What a disater. Burnt at 20 minutes. Will cook in 15.

glaskin42's picture
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This was a disaster, I followed the recipe and when after 20mins they were burnt. Why is it not stated that you should check after 15mins. What a waste of my time and effort.

sianlday's picture
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These were delicious - although mine were more like hot splodge buns! I will roll out the crosses next time.

franbs's picture
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I'm working through Paul Hollywood's "how to bake" book and every other recipe I've tried has been a 5star success. So was very disappointed by these hot cross buns which turned out to be slightly bland. In his book the recipe uses more yeast (10g instead of 7g quoted here), the zest of 2 oranges rather than 1, 2 eggs rather than 1, and interestingly 2 teasps of cinnamon not 1. The texture of the buns is great - warm from the oven they're very nice but to be honest nothing special even with the extra tsp of cinnamon. I wonder whether using mixed spice instead of cinnamon might work. Sorry Paul but I'm going in search of alternative HCB recipes to find a better result.

kathbailey's picture
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I halved the quantities and made a loaf, sliced and buttered it is delicious. Pauls recipes never let me down.

nevynevster's picture
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Good recipe. Easy to follow. I also used a sugar glaze with orange zest which I thought was nicer than jam. But the buns need way more spice! Next time I will add to the flour mix.

fatnickc's picture

These were great! I made an egg-free version by replacing the egg and apple with 120ml of apple sauce and a pinch of baking powder.
I mixed all the fruit in at the start and just proved it twice, but they were the best I've ever made!

markt1891's picture

Never made dough before so have a bit of a stupid question... Recipe says to cover with well-oiled clingfilm but does it mean that you put the clingfilm directly over the dough within the bowl or cover across the top if the bowl?

helers's picture
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I am not keen on mixed peel so left it out and added the zest of a lemon. Used my own mixture of mixed spice, ground cinnamon, ginger, clove, nutmeg, all spice and coriander which gave great flavour.

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