• 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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(93 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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shazera's picture

These are yum. Added the extra spice to the recipe as suggested in the comments and did the sugar glaze. I even added a bit of cinnamon to the sugar glaze when melting together. Worked a treat!

neljatilma's picture
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Very nice recipe! Never made this before, but tried it with very strong bread flour and that also worked out nice! Mine also needed only 15 min in the oven and I glazed them with syrop. Good try for a foreigner... :)

gemzyb1's picture

I have just finished making these...yummy! They are lovely! I mixed the fruit and spices in with the dry ingredients and they have been spread evenly through the buns. I added a lot more spice than suggested...about three tspns of cinnamon and half a grated nutmeg. I baked them for 20 mins but on a lower shelf and setting than suggested. They are nicely golden on top. The apricot glaze is nice but a little sticky! I will defo be making these again.thanks Paul!

climbergrl's picture

I was a bit confused. In the programme the fruit went into the mix at the start and there was only the one prove before the buns were formed and left to rise again. Took ages to do 3 proves per the recipe but I suspect improves the flavour. I kept to the recipe despite the calls for extra spice on comments. But then I like quite subtle flavours. Delicious hot crossbones. Really soft and ill never buy them again ( although I might try the whole mix at the beginning to cut out a prove and see if there's much difference)

gfteddess's picture
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Hi My Buns were a disaster. They were poorly risen, the dough was too wet and the result was heavy. The oven temp was as stated and the bun bottoms were over cooked / burnt.

I will be filing these in the bin :o(

WHAT AM I DOING WRONG???????

Agree with all other commentators that spice was insufficient too.

rebeccamottershead's picture

A beautiful hot cross bun, soft, light and moist. Having read the comments about the lack of spice I added 1 teaspoon each of cinnamon, nutmeg and mixed spice and 1/2 a teaspoon of mace. This spice mix came from a recipe from the Sunday Times back in the 70s and has been my favourite combination of spices ever since. Next time I will add the spices at the beginning with the flour as it was a bit difficult to add once the dough had proved.

redrickshaw's picture
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I have made hot cross about four times over the years and have always been very disappointed. I looked for another recipe this year and found this one and I am soooo happy! They came out beautifully and I still can't quite believe I made them. I added a teaspoon more cinnamon, some grated nutmeg and ground cloves. I also brushed them with sugar water. Definitely well worth the effort!

hayleylw47's picture
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I made these today being Good Friday. They are easy to make and gorgeous. They smell And look stunning. Had 1 straight fom the oven and then 1 later with butter and jam! Highly recommend

suvannah200's picture

Love the idea of hot cross buns but not sultanas so changed the recipe to make chocolate orange hot cross buns - worked a treat! Would increase chocolate chunks from 100g to 200g and I used zest of 2 oranges. As with other bakers, found 15 minutes sufficient. Thanks for a fab recipe!

berryt's picture

made these today and am pleased with the result - but they took ages! (will teach me to read the method before I start) Also they need more spice as quite bland. dough was very sticky but the end result had a good texture. used overly sugary syrup for the glaze, would use the jam or golden syrup option next time.

ellacado's picture
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Very good when warm

batesintheuk's picture
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Will definitely make these again! My husband loves hot cross buns, but they always give him heartburn. Happily, these did not, even though I added a little nutmeg to the cinnamon.

I used my standing mixer and dough hook for the initial kneading, though had to add the fruit by hand. I thought they might be done in 15 minutes, but using an instant read thermometer, they didn't get close enough to 200 internal temp till nearly the full 20 minutes.

yudd1e's picture

Just a little confused with this recipe & how Paul did them on the Easter Bake Off as some of the ingredients vary in weight/amounts so I went back to the recorded TV programme. They are delicious but I hadn't realised just how long it would take

bizzylizzy66's picture

I live in the west indies where mixed peel and sultanas are impossible to find, but I did have some home made mincemeat left over from christmas, so i added that (125g) thus getting the apple, peel, zest etc in one dollop! I added this at the second proving, i have read that cinnamon inhibits yeast action so i would not advise putting it in at the beginning. 2 1/4 tsp dried yeast is about 7g. For me the hardest part was piping on the crosses, i only have a traditional bag and miss my syringe icer....i wonder whether this cld be done in the bread maker? My paddle has gone missing but i am sure to try when i find it.

lisabakes's picture
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Just made these, missed out the extra 2 tbsp of milk and baked for 16 minutes at 200 in my fan oven and they came out lovely! Did have to use about 7 tbsp of water to the flour for the crosses to get it to a piping consistency but overall these were lovely

lauraclaire92's picture
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Quite good but next time I would 1)add more spice 2)leave out the apple and increase quantity of dried fruit 3)reduce the cooking temperature as they did not cook evenly; some edges were burnt, others undercooked. I also found the dough did not rise much. However, they taste very good toasted with butter and a bit of honey but are too bland to eat as they are.

sec1990's picture
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Lovely. Would combine all the ingredients (spices, fruit) in with the flour at the beginning however as it is quite difficult trying to knead them in and getting an even coverage. Paul did this when he made them on the Easter bake-off. Added more spices and used a sugar glaze instead of jam as suggested by readers --- delicious!

joankilleen's picture
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Made these today and they were great. I didn't bother with the greated apple. I also added some sugar to the flour paste. They were really easy to knead and look really pretty when baked.

suzyque54's picture

Am making these now and they proving for second time, not rising as much as they should. Afraid my dough was a little dry as I forgot about the extra milk! Might have just invented Hot Cross Rock Buns. Fingers crossed - as well as buns.

maryrose60's picture
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I tried this recepie and turned out to be the best hot cross buns so I made another batch today and will give some of them to friends to try. Will continue to do them again !

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