• 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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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.

rebecccajwalker's picture

Came first in our local spring show with Paul's recipe. They freeze well too. Lovely buttered!

littleegg's picture
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Delish!

daisyroots's picture
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The master has done it again. This recipe is first class in my opinion as are all his recipes. I have made hot cross buns once before many years ago and they were so awful I threw them to the birds and they threw them back. Not this time. This recipe is faultless. I followed every step except I used mixed fruit & zest of a clemetine. They were light, full of flavour and tasted deicious. Also they freeze really well. I am making another batch this week to freeze for Easter. I shall never buy another shop bought hot cross bun again. Thank you Paul.

caznmark's picture

Has anyone made his hot cross buns from the "how to bake" book. Because it's got different measurements and method. I couldn't get my dough to double in size. Tried twice with no success. Did everything by the book too

fionnuala21's picture
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Lovely - as others have suggested, I doubled the spices (3/4 tsp mixed spice, 1/4-1/2 tsp nutmeg as well as the cinnamon) and baked them for less time (15 minutes). They are light, moist, just lovely! Thanks for such a great recipe!

gjfeenan's picture

Th smell of these cooking (eventually) was fabulous! I followed the recipe to the gram except that I used semi-skimmed milk. It was a bit long winded and took all afternoon but they are delish :)

fcrossey's picture
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This was my first attempt at a yeast dough. Reasonably happy with the result, maybe a few mins too long in the oven, will try 15 mins next time, but they are disappearing anyway.

The recipe includes sunflower oil among the list of ingredients.
I was expecting to see this included in the actual buns, but perhaps it was for oiling the cling film. If so, better to list the oil separately for this purpose - less confusing for we novice bread makers.
Would have been 5 stars otherwise.

Otherwise enjoyed every minute and will be trying lots more of Paul's bread recipes now.

kathryndonna's picture
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Fantastic buns and well worth the time they take. I first made them at Easter and forgot to rate them but of course they are lovely at any time of year, with or without the cross. I now substitute the apricot jam for a sugar and water glaze it I think it works better.

queeniep's picture
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Absolutely delicious. Very time consuming especially with 3 little ones running around but so worth it. My husband said they were "as good as Tesco" which is a compliment considering the amount he consumes, will definitely be making these again and again.

veggiesara's picture
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Sadly I had quite a few problems with this recipe-
1. The dough was horribly wet and sticky- completely impossible to work with, I would suggest using 200ml milk to start with and add a splash later on if needed
2. Don't do what I did and add the 1 tbsp of oil to the dough! It's for oiling the bowl/cling film
3. I found it difficult to fully incorporate the dried fruit/apple/spices after 1 hour of the dough rising-by this stage my dough was too elastic to add more ingredients- I would add the fruit etc at the beginning of the recipe and leave the dough to rise for 2 hours undisturbed
4. I found 1 hour for the 2nd prove in a warm place was too much and some of my buns were so risen that they were too fragile to remove the teatowel from them without deflating
5. baking for 20 minutes at 200degrees fan oven is far to long at to high a temperature, so I ended up with burnt buns

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. :)

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