Hot cross buns
Traditionally eaten on Good Friday these sweet, spicy buns have finely diced pieces of apple and plump sultanas, lightly spiced with cinnamon to make a delicious alternative to the classic hot cross buns. Hands-on preparation time is relatively short but do allow enough time for the dough and buns to rise.
for the buns
- 500 g (1lb2oz) strong bread flour
- 2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 7 g (¼oz) sachet easy-blend yeast
- 75 g (3oz) golden caster sugar
- 1¼ teaspoon salt
- 50 g (50g) butter cut into cubes
- 75 g (3oz) sultanas
- 1 small eating apple peeled, cored and cut into small dice.
- 1 medium egg
- 100 ml (4floz) milk
- 150 warm water You may ot need it all
for the crosses
- 50 g (2oz) plain flour
- cold water to mix water
for the glaze
- 25 g (1oz) golden caster sugar
- 50 ml water
- ½ teaspoon cinamon
To make the dough
Place 500g (1lb2oz) flour and 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon into a large mixing bowl and stir in a 7g (¼ oz) sachet yeast, 75g (3oz) sugar and 1¼ teaspoon salt. Rub in 50g (2oz) butter with your fingertips, then stir in 75g (3oz) sultanas and the diced apple mixed.
Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and drop in the egg. Then add 100ml (4floz) milk and add most 150ml (¼ pt) warm water. Mix to a soft dough, adding the remaining water if required.
Turn out the dough and knead gently for 5 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, turning to coat the dough in the oil. Cover and leave in a warm place to rise for about 1½ hours, or until doubled in size.
Turn out, and lightly knead again. Divide the dough into 12 and roll each piece into a ball. Place on a greased baking sheet about 2cm (1in) apart. Cover with a damp tea towel, or slip the tray inside a carrier bag, and leave in a warm place until doubled in size which should take about 50 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 190℃ (170℃ fan)/375°F/gas mark 5.
To make the glaze
While the hot cross buns are baking, prepare the glaze. Place the sugar and water in a small pan and heat gently stirring until the sugar dissolves.
Once the buns are cooked transfer to a wire rack placed over a tray or baking sheet the brush the tops with the sugar glaze.
If you don't have a piping bag you can make a paper piping bag from baking parchment. Or use a small polythene bag and a snip off one corner.
Hot cross buns are best eaten warm and on the day they are made. However, they can be refreshed by popping them in the microwave for a few seconds to warm through. They are also delicious toasted.
Freeze for up to 2 months. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight and warm in the oven at 180℃/170℃ fan/gas mark 4 for 5 minutes.