It can almost feel like Hot Cross Buns appear in the supermarket even before the last of the Christmas cake has disappeared from the the pantry. And while we welcome their spicy aromas, it can feel a little scary that the holidays start to blur into one!
If you’re a traditionalist at heart, you’ll likely be holding out until Good Friday before feasting on an Easter bun or five. In fact, you might have even decided that this is the year that you are going to give your own Easter recipe a go – good for you!
Messing with a family favourite can be risky business, after all, you don’t want this Easter staple to be missing from the holiday celebrations. What you need is an Easter recipe for hot cross buns that you know won’t fail. Even better, perhaps one that you can get the rest of the family involved in too.
So what is involved with making the perfect Easter Bun? We’ve scoured the internet to find the best Easter recipe for your holiday celebrations. The recipe below is courtesy of BBC Good Food – give it a go for yourself and let us know how you get on!
Our Ecommerce Coordinator Lucy road tested this Easter recipe – here are her tips:
Make sure you give yourself plenty of time if you are doing this by hand, letting the dough rise is very important and patience is definitely required!
Save yourself some elbow grease, if you have a cake mixer with a dough hook or a bread maker, you may want to use these instead of kneading the dough by hand.
Next time I will be adding the cinnamon in with the flour, salt, sugar, and yeast as it is quite hard to knead it evenly through the dough.
You don’t need to have a piping bag for the crosses, just use a snap lock or freezer bag and snip a corner off. Make sure you don’t snip too much though or you’ll end up with very wide crosses!
For the buns
● 300ml full-fat milk, plus 2 tbsp more
● 50g butter
● 500g strong bread flour
● 1 tsp salt
● 75g caster sugar
● 1 tbsp sunflower oil
● 7g sachet fast-action or easy-blend yeast
● 1 egg, beaten
● 75g sultana
● 50g mixed peel
● zest 1 orange
● 1 apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped
● 1 tsp ground cinnamon
For the cross
● 75g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
For the glaze
● 3 tbsp apricot jam
● Bring the milk to the boil, then remove from the heat and add the butter. Leave to cool until it reaches hand temperature. Put the flour, salt, sugar and yeast into a bowl. Make a well in the centre. Pour in the warm milk and butter mixture, then add the egg. Using a wooden spoon, mix well, then bring everything together with your hands until you have a sticky dough.
● Tip on to a lightly floured surface and knead by holding the dough with one hand and stretching it with the heel of the other hand, then folding it back on itself. Repeat for 5 mins until smooth and elastic. 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 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 and cinnamon. Knead into the dough, 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 to stop the dough getting a crust.
● Divide the dough into 15 even pieces (about 75g per piece – see Tip below). Roll each piece into a smooth ball on a lightly floured work surface. Arrange the buns on one or two baking trays lined with parchment, leaving enough space for the dough to expand. Cover (but don’t wrap) with more oiled cling film, or a clean tea towel, then set aside to prove for 1 hr more.
● Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Mix the 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. 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.
● Gently heat the apricot jam 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.
This Easter recipe keeps it nice and simple, but like any bread baking, requires a little patience. Change up the added fruit ingredients if you prefer (or you could of course go for the more decadent chocolate chip hot cross bun!) And if all else fails, you know that the local supermarket or bakery has got your back! If you can do without the pressure of baking, or your want to ensure you have back-up, then go for ready-made instead; I’m sure there’ll be no complaints and they’ll still disappear just as quick!
Do you have a fail-proof hot cross bun Easter recipe? Or do you find it easier just to grab some from the bakery? Share your tips below.