Traditional Hot-Cross Buns

What better way to round up this year’s Easter with some traditional Hot Cross Buns! Up until 2-3 years ago I hated these, the idea of eating soft spiced bread with squishy currants and raisins just sounded gross…until I had them toasted, from then on I became obsessed and I thought it was finally time I had a go at making them myself! I used a recipe from the baking queen that is Laura Adlington (GBBO Finalist 2020), her simple recipe is flawless and gave me the softest, most perfectly spiced buns I could have hoped for. I will definitely be using this recipe again next year but trying to jazz it up with my own ideas (wish me luck) for now though, enjoy these traditional Easter beauties. 

Makes 9 buns 

360g Strong White Bread Flour 
7g Dried Yeast 
1 Egg
1 Orange, zest 
50g Butter, melted 
60g Caster Sugar 
5g Salt 
1 tsp Allspice 
1 tsp Cinnamon 
140ml Warm Water 
170g Currants/ Raisins 

For the crosses on top: 
60g Plain Flour 
3-4 tbsp Water 

2 tbsp Jam to brush on the top of the buns 

To begin, add the flour, salt, sugar, yeast, cinnamon, all-spice, and orange zest into a large bowl then combine them together (it’s worth keeping the salt and yeast on opposite sides of the bowl before you mix).

Make a well in the middle of your dry ingredients and add in the water, mix this up until you have a very scraggy dough.

Add the egg and butter into the mix and combine these together before tipping out the loose dough onto a lightly floured surface and kneading for at least 10 mins until the dough is smooth and stretchy. Leave your dough ball in a lightly oiled bowl, cover the bowl with a tea towel and leave it to rise in a warm place until doubled in size (this is usually 40-60 mins). 

Once your dough has proved and doubled in size, punch the air out of it just a couple of times before pouring your raisins/sultanas into the bowl and incorporating them evenly throughout the dough. 

Now, I’m not usually this pedantic but I trust Laura’s recipe so I followed it to the letter, we now need to weigh out individual 90g balls of dough and place them on a baking tray, leave some space between them to allow them to prove properly. You may need two trays depending on how many you end up with. 
Cover with a tea towel again and leave to prove for another 30-50 mins until these have doubled in size. 

Preheat your oven to 210C/ 190 Fan/ Gas Mark 6. We’re getting to the good bit now! We need to make our mixture to pipe the crosses/designs on the top. This is very simple to do but you must get the consistency right; too thick and the crosses will be gooey and doughy, too thin and the crosses will dry like cardboard on top of your buns, so just a thick paste consistency that isn’t too runny will be fine. Mix 60g plain flour with 2 tbsp water and combine until you have a thick paste, if it’s too thick to stir then add more water 1 tbsp at a time until the consistency changes. 

Pour the mix into a piping bag and use a small, pointy nozzle. Pipe whatever decoration you want on to the top of the buns, I went for more traditional crosses this time because I thought it looked the best and was the easiest bet for a first attempt but you could do anything you like; individual letters, stars, hearts, anything that you like the look of! 

Once your design is ready, pop the buns in the oven for 15 mins until they’re golden and fluffy. When you take them out of the oven, brush each bun with some warm jam if you want that sticky, sweet glaze on top and then you’re done! 

I love this recipe! I’ve really admired Laura Adlington’s delicious but no-nonsense approach to baking, everything she creates is accessible for everyone to try whilst always tasting absolutely incredible! I’ve never made Hot-Cross Buns before and I'm so happy that they came out pretty much perfect first try, the taste and texture of these are just the best and I know I’m going to use this recipe every year and keep adding my own twist on to it each time! 
It’s been so nice to have a go at all these different Easter-inspired recipes, I’ve enjoyed the challenge and although some of them weren’t perfect, I definitely learned alot in the process and can’t wait for it to warm up so I can share some lovely cocktail/ mocktail and summery recipes with you all!
I hope you have a wonderful day today, I’ll be celebrating by having an Easter BBQ in the garden with my boyfriend and my parents, who I haven’t seen in almost 5 months!

Happy Easter to all who celebrate! 

H x