Hot cross buns

Hot cross buns

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(77 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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kirstienic's picture
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First time I've made hot cross buns and surprisingly easy. I found they needed a little less time in a slightly lower oven (but then all ovens are different aren't they!). Delicious - I could have eaten the lot!

donnadoo98's picture
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These were delicious- we'll never buy shop-brought hot cross buns again! They were perfect to make on a Sunday morning ready for afternoon tea, and I'll be making them long after and before Easter. The actual buns were incredibly light and fluffy, and the apricot glaze gave a very professional finish. I thoroughly recommend this recipe and I know that everyone who makes these will agree that they're worth that extra effort. :)

watchstrap's picture
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I have made these twice now as we all loved the first batch so much. First time they were perfect except for the cross paste which I made too wet and ended up with stripes across my buns. However, they still tasted great. Today I didn't have any full fat milk left, so made with semi-skimmed. Also, decided to mix in food mixer with dough hook so dough was sticker this time as last time I added more flour in order to knead them. Buns still tasted nice but were less yellow in colour inside once baked and they spread out too much when baked making them difficult to split for toasting.
Will use the recipe again as it produces a really light, open textured bun, but will revert to full fat milk. Made mine in a Rayburn so will try them in my fan oven too. Phew, what a long comment!

wilson49's picture

Wow, fantastic recipe , huge Hot Cross Buns well worth proving 3 times I was a bit worried as to how sticky the dough was at first. I also added a teaspoon of mixed spice as well as cinnamon, zest of lemon as well as orange, .used 150 grams of sultanas no peal . grated the apple much easier . Brushed top with golden syrup. made 12 buns, really light buns. perfect. OH and Paul dont take any notice of PanClanger, you dont need to spell to be a great baker, your bread , iced buns and focaccia recipes are perfect too

chocolatebuttons's picture
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My husband made these yesterday, and they looked so good we had to taste them at midnight on returning from a party. He didn't like the fact that the dough is wetter than in other bread recipes (he makes a fair amount of bread) but I've been converted to Paul's scone recipe in which the dough is wetter too. It does make for lighter results. Next time we would add more spice, but otherwise excellent!

debjenks1's picture

Made these buns today for Easter Sunday - Big mistake!
Followed recipe to the letter and they turned out like Rock cakes!

despinamina's picture
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My first attempt at making hot cross buns, and despite them not loking perfect, they really do taste lovely! My only criticism, be it a very small one, is that I would prefer a little more spice. This is easily altered for next years attempt! Happy Easter!

pendleberry's picture
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I made a batch of these this morning, but missed out the egg as my mother-in-law is allergic to eggs. I did add a little more milk to compensate and the dough was a nice, soft consistency.

I'm taking the buns to my in-laws this afternoon, but we couldn't resist scoffing a couple already! The baker's prerogative I think.

kiwiinlux's picture
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These turned out great, and so easy to make. I didn't add mixed peel or apple, but added a teaspoon of mixed spice with the cinnamon to the dry ingredients at the beginning. Perfectly cooked on fanbake at 200 degrees after 15 mins, and as suggested here earlier I used a sugar glaze. Everyone loved them, and I'll definitely be making them again.

floyd78's picture

Great recipe even though I was still making them at 1am as the dough didn't rise very well, but that could just be the temperature of my kitchen. The dough was very wet so I needed a few extra tablespoons of flour to make it workable.
After reading comments here I used a teaspoonful of mixed spice in addition to the cinnamon but next time I would add more.
The buns were cooked through and golden after 15 mins and I used warmed, sieved orange marmalade to glaze as I didn't have any apricot in.
Really pleased with the results as I'm not normally much good with yeasted dough

rachaelsingh's picture
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I made these today. Time-consuming, yes, but well worth the effort. I substituted currants for mixed peel (because mixed peel is wrong on all sorts of levels), added lemon zest to the orange zest and threw in a teaspoonful (or thereabouts) of freshly grated nutmeg. Delighted with the results.

vivaves's picture
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old fogey - think the extra milk was incase you needed it to get the dough to the right consistency (see the 3rd point, "flour" under the "Try" heading under the main instructions). that was my interpretation, anyway. I was also a bit confused about the tbsp of sunflower oil, before I realised they must mean to oil the bowl and clingfilm. Strange to list it inbetween the sugar and the yeast, though. Oh, and Paul? it's HEEL, not HEAL of the hand.

juliebahrain's picture
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Really pleased with how these turned out :-). Yes, they need more spice. I should have chopped my apple much smaller and my dough was very wet to start with (I used Hovis Strong Bread flour) which was a bit of a worry, but my only other attempt at hot cross buns, many years ago, yielded rock hard cannon balls, so these are jolly good hot cross buns.

old fogey's picture
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I agree with most of the comments here, very tasty, lots of time proving, more spice and less cooking time.

I used diluted Golden Syrup for the glaze because I didn't have apricot jam.

But; am I the only one who is left wondering what to do with 2 tablespoonsful of full cream milk that I seem to have left over?

celtic45's picture

The process was a bit long and unfortunately I found that there wasn't enough yeast as the dough didn't rise very much. Added other spices too as I felt they were lacking. Will try again and will add more yeast. A bit disappointing though.

vivaves's picture
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Really enjoyed making these, and was very pleased with the results, generally. They have a lovely light texture but I agree with the other commenters who say that they need a bit more spice - wish I'd checked here before diving in! Will definitely use this recipe again but will add some mixed spice next time.

jennyh10's picture
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These are lovely although when I started out I hadn't realised they needed to prove 3 times so I ended up making them on my own once the children got bored! I found them even more time consuming than expected.
I had no mixed peel in the cupboard so I used the zest of a lemon as well as an orange. I added 50g of glace cherries too. On reading the comments I decided to add more spices so I used 1/2 tsp ginger, 1/2 tsp mixed spice and some freshly ground nutmeg and I am very glad I did.
The mix was very wet so I had to add a bit more flour for kneading and shaping.
I found they required less time in the oven too, 15 mins was fine.
I would make these again.

syrilsquirrel's picture
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Absolutely delicious and much lighter than any I have made before. Easy enough recipe to follow although very time consuming with all the risings. More spice needed and shorter time in oven. Used sugar glaze as recommended.

cretancook's picture
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Made these yesterday and found there was a little too much liquid but that is because of the flour that is available here in Crete. The finished result was very good though. I make hot cross buns every Easter and this will be my recipe of choice from now on.

eaglesdan46's picture
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I'll never buy hot cross buns from a shop again after making these!
Like other people, who have rated these, I found that the buns were cooked in approx 15 mins and I would also add a little nutmeg as well as the cinnamon next time. I also did weigh each ball of dough but had no problem with the apricot glaze. I found it hard to wait for the buns to cool down as the smell of the buns cooking was so tempting!

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