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Thursday, 20 March 2008

Rosie’s Hot Cross Buns

Hot cross buns,
Hot cross buns,
one ha' penny,
two ha' penny,
hot cross buns.
If you have no daughters,
give them to your sons,
one ha' penny,
two ha' penny,
Hot Cross Buns

I was in the kitchen this morning getting all ready to bake my Easter Nest cake when hubby requested one of his favourite Easter bakes of hot cross buns. I hadn’t planned on making these today but as Mr R hardly requests any form of baking who am I to disappoint? He had spotted some hot cross buns in our local baker’s window and this must have jolted his request!

Hot cross buns are traditionally eaten on Good Friday with the cross standing for the crucifixion of Christ. They date back many years and they are a sweetened spiced currant yeast bun with the cross being made from sweetened flour water or pastry. They are then glazed over with sugar syrup straight from the oven. There are many variations of spices that can be used but I settle for a more traditional approach. I just adore splitting open a freshly baked bun and spreading butter over letting it melt its way through the interior, be warned though, you have to watch for the dribbles of butter that may ooze down your chin :P

Rosie’s Hot Cross Buns

Makes 12 buns

450g (1lb) strong plain white flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
50g (2 oz) butter
7g sachet of fast acting dried yeast
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
25g (1 oz) caster sugar
100g (4 oz) luxury dried mixed fruit and peel, I use Sainsbury’s
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Approx 250ml (9 fl oz) tepid milk
A little extra flour for kneading
For The Cross
3 tbsp strong plain flour
2 tsp caster sugar
2 tbsp water
For The Sugar Syrup
50g (2 oz) caster sugar
3 tbsp water
You will need 2 baking trays lined with non-stick mats, a piping bag with a small plain nozzle.


In a large bowl sift the flour, salt and spices adding the butter and rubbing through with your fingertips. Next, stir in the yeast, lemon zest, mixed dried fruit and sugar. Making a slight well in the middle add the milk a little at a time until you have a soft dough, (you may not require all the milk). Cover over the dough with a clean tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place until doubled in size.

On a lightly floured surface turn out the dough and knead until smooth and elastic. Cut the dough into equal portions of 12 (or less if you want larger buns.) Taking each piece of dough form into smooth balls and slightly flatten making a cross shape with the back of a knife on each one. Place onto the baking trays and cover over with clean tea towels and leave to rise in a warm place until doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas mark 5.Make the sweetened flour water for the crosses, add the flour, sugar and water and stir through until this becomes a smooth paste. Fill a piping bag and pipe on each bun the sign of a cross. Place the buns into the preheated oven and bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until golden brown.

While the buns are baking make the sugar syrup glaze by adding the sugar and water to a saucepan bring to the boil for about 2 minutes to make sure all the sugar has melted and it has become a syrup consistency.

When the buns are golden brown from the oven brush the sugar syrup glaze all over each one and transfer onto a wire rack to cool.


Peter M said...

Oh my Gawd...I had to learn to play that song on my recorder....grade 5!

Eating your Hot Cross Buns would be much more enjoyable.

Elyse said...

What a lucky hubby to get this special treat! Yummy. I'm sure I couldn't eat just one!

Rachel said...

This is something I look forward to eating during the season

J.Danger said...

I have always wondered what these looked like! I hear this song over and over in the week (oldest son is in band!) but never had an image. Thanks!

Tracey said...

Ummmmmh, those look delicious, Rosie! I´ve always wanted to try making my I can follow your recipe!

♥Rosie♥ said...

It's really lovely to read your comments about reflections of your Hot Cross Buns.

They are always such a treat for us at Easter in our home.

I am pleased to be able to show you J.Danger just what they look like :0)

Best wishes Rosie x