The Best Hot Cross Buns

The ultimate Easter treat - this recipe takes time but once you've tasted them you won't go back to shop bought again.  Best served warm with lashings of butter.
Servings: 15 yield(s)
Prep Time: 220 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 240 mins
Ingredients
    For the buns
  • 300 ml full fat milk
  • 50 g butter
  • 500 g strong bread flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 75 g caster sugar
  • 7 g sachet fast-action or easy-blend yeast
  • 1 free-range egg (beaten)
  • 75 g sultanas
  • 75 g glace cherries (chopped)
  • 1 orange (zest only)
  • 1 apple (peeled, cored & finely chopped)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • For the cross
  • 75 g plain flour
  • 6 tbsp water
  • For the glaze
  • 5 tbsp apricot jam (melted & sieved)
Instructions
  1. In a pan bring the milk to the boil then remove from the heat and add the butter. Set aside to cool.
  2. Add the flour, salt, sugar and yeast in a large bowl, mix through and make a well. Pour in the warm milk & butter mixture and add the beaten egg. Mix through and then bring everything together with your hands until you have a sticky dough.
  3. Tip onto a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes until you have a smooth and elastic dough. 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.
  4. With the dough still in the bowl, tip in the remaining bun ingredients. Knead into the dough, making sure everything is well distributed. Leave to rise for 1 hr more, or until doubled in size and cover with well-oiled cling film.
  5. Divide the dough into 15 even pieces, roll each piece into a smooth ball on a lightly floured work surface. Place the buns on one or two baking trays lined with parchment, leaving enough space for the dough to expand. Cover with oiled cling film, or a clean tea towel, then set aside to prove for 1 hr more.
  6. Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C Fan/Gas mark 7. In a small bowl add the plain flour and add the water one tablespoon at a time until you have a thick paste. Place in a piping bag with a small nozzle and pipe a cross on each bun. Bake for 20 mins on the middle shelf of the oven, until golden brown.
  7. Heat the apricot jam in the microwave for 20 seconds 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. Serve warm or toasted with lashings of butter. Enjoy!