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Cranberry & orange hot cross buns

Cranberry & orange hot cross buns

A star rating of 4.8 out of 5.6 ratingsRate
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  • Preparation and cooking time
    • Prep:
    • Cook:
    • plus rising and proving
  • Easy
  • Makes 16 small buns

The whole family will love this fruity, spiced Easter bake - get the kids in the kitchen to help mixing, kneading and glazing

Nutrition: Per bun


For the buns

  • zest of 2 oranges and juice of 1
  • 100g dried cranberries
  • 250ml milk
  • 50g unsalted butter , diced
  • 1 large egg
  • 500g strong white bread flour , plus extra for kneading
  • 1 tbsp fast-action dried yeast
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • 100g caster sugar
  • a little oil , for greasing
  • butter , to serve

For the crosses

  • 75g plain flour
  • juice 1 orange
  • 5 tbsp apricot jam


  • STEP 1

    Put the orange zest in a bowl and set aside. Pour the juice into another bowl, add 75ml boiling water and the dried cranberries, then leave to soak.

  • STEP 2

    Meanwhile, pour the milk into a saucepan, add the butter and heat over a low heat, stirring occasionally, until the butter has just melted. Turn off the heat and beat in the egg by hand.

  • STEP 3

    Mix together the bread flour, yeast, 1 tsp salt, and the mixed spice and sugar in a large bowl. Make a well in the flour and pour in the milk mixture.

  • STEP 4

    Drain the cranberries and add to the bowl with the orange zest, then mix into the dough with a wooden spoon until it comes together enough to handle without getting too sticky.

  • STEP 5

    Tip out onto a floured surface and knead for 5 mins until smooth and elastic – you’ll need to keep poking the cranberries into the mix as you go. Grease a bowl with a little oil, then add the dough and cover with cling film. Leave somewhere warm to rise for 1 hr.

  • STEP 6

    Once risen to twice the size, turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knock it back by kneading for about 1 min – this will get all the large air holes out and give you nice even buns.

  • STEP 7

    Divide the dough into 16 equal pieces, roll into balls and lay on baking sheets lined with parchment. Put a plastic bag over the baking sheets and leave to prove for 1 hr more.

  • STEP 8

    Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Mix together the plain flour and 5 tbsp water in a bowl to a sticky consistency. Spoon into a piping bag with a small opening, or use a 2mm nozzle, and pipe crosses onto each risen bun. Put the buns in the oven for 20-22 mins until brown on top.

  • STEP 9

    While the buns are baking, make the glaze. Pour the orange juice into a saucepan and mix in the jam. Bring to the boil over a low heat, then simmer for 3-5 mins – you’ll need to keep an eye on this the whole time and stir it to stop it sticking. Once the buns are cooked, put them on a wire rack and immediately paint with the glaze. Leave to cool, then eat with butter. Will keep for up to 2 days in an airtight container.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, April 2015

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A star rating of 4.8 out of 5.6 ratings

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