- 300ml full-fat milk
- 50g unsalted butter
- 500g strong bread flour
- 75g lemon caster sugar
- 1 tbsp sunflower oil
- 7g sachet fast-action or easy-blend yeast
- 1 egg, beaten
- 75g sultanas (try golden sultanas if you can find them)
- 50g mixed peel
- zest 1 orange
- 1 apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped
- 1 tsp ground mixed spice
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 75g plain flour
- 1 tbsp orange flower water (optional)
- 5 tbsp water
- 3 tbsp orange marmalade
- In saucepan, bring the milk to the boil, remove from the heat and add the butter. Set aside to cool until it reaches blood temperature.
- In a large bowl, place the strong bread flour, sugar and yeast. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture, then pour the warm milk and butter mixture, Add the egg and using a wooden spoon, mix thoroughly. When the mix becomes too stiff to mix with the spoon, scoop the ingredients together in the bowl with your hands, until a sticky dough is formed.
- On a lightly floured surface, tip the dough out, scrapping as much dought out of the bowl as possible (use a small bench scrapper if you have one), then set the bowl aside. Knead by hand for at least 5 minutes, until smooth and elastic.
- In the bowl you previously set aside, brush the interior with some of the oil. Place the dough inside the lightly greased bowl, and cover with oiled cling film. Leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hr or until doubled in size and a finger pressed into it leaves a dent.
- With the dough still in the bowl, tip in the sultanas, mixed peel, orange zest, apple, mixed spice and cinnamon. Knead into the dough in the bowl, 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.
- Divide the dough into 15-18 even pieces. Roll each piece into a smooth ball on a lightly floured work surface.
- Arrange the buns on 2 baking trays lined with parchment, leaving plenty of space between each ball. Gently cover with more oiled cling film, or a clean tea towel. Allow to prove for 1 more hour.
- Pre heat the oven to 220C/Gas mark 7.
- Mix the plain 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. (You can also add a tablespoon of orange flower water before adding the rest of the water, for an added flavour dimension.) 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.
- Bake for 20 mins on the middle shelf of the oven, until golden brown.
- In a small saucepan, gently heat the marmalade, and while warm brush the marmalade over the top of the hot buns and leave to cool.
Hot Cross Buns, Hot Cross Buns,
One a penny, two a penny,
Hot Cross Buns.
If you have no daughters,
Give them all to me*,
One a penny, two a penny, Hot Cross Buns!
* This line may not be accurate to the poem, but it helped me to get extra buns 😀