Hot Cross Buns

Justin’s a bit of a hot cross bun fanatic, so today I decided to surprise him by making a batch for lunch. This is a really soft enriched dough, so it’s not just laziness that made me resort to the Kitchen Aid. If you’re short of time, do the mixing, kneading and initial proving in a bread maker – it will knock 2 hours down to about 45 mins.

Makes: 8 big buns


For the tea-soaked fruit:

1 handful of sultanas

1 handful of dates, stoned and chopped

1 tbsp chopped mixed peel

hot black tea to cover


For the dough:

1 tsp easy blend dried yeast

400 g strong white bread flour

75 g stoneground wholemeal flour

1 tsp salt

25 g cornflour

75 ml milk

160 ml of the tea soaking liquor

1 egg, beaten

75 g softened butter

50 g runny honey

3 tsp mixed spice

1 tsp ground cinnamon


To decorate:

2 tbsp bread flour

1 – 2 tbsp water

4 tbsp runny honey

  • Put the sultanas, dates and mixed peel in a bowl and pour over enough hot tea to cover by about 2 cm. Leave to soak for anything from 1 hour to overnight.
  • Drain the fruit, reserving the liquid, and tip it into a free-standing mixer with the rest of the dough ingredients.
  • Fit the dough hook and knead on a low speed for 10 minutes.
  • Leave the dough to rest, covered with oiled clingfilm, for 2 hours or until doubled in size.
  • Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured surface and shape it into 12 buns. Transfer the buns to a baking tray lined with a non-stick mat, then erect a clingfilm tent around them and leave to prove for an hour or so, until doubled in size again.
4 Kernels standing guard
  • Preheat the oven to 220°C (200° fan) / 425F / gas 7.
  • Mix the plain flour with just enough water to make a thick paste and spoon it into a piping bag, then pipe a cross on top of each one.
  • Bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through, then brush with honey before leaving to cool on a wire rack.

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