Food / 05.04.2017

3 hot cross bun recipes to bake over Easter

By Francesca Specter
Feast on this lot over Good Friday

Peter Sidwell’s California Prune & Orange Hot Cross Buns

Peter Sidwell prune and orange hot cross buns

Makes 6 large buns
500g strong flour (50% wholemeal, 50% white)
150ml milk
200ml green tea (made using 2 green tea teabags and left to infuse for 5 minutes)
7g yeast
7g salt
140g California Prunes, finely chopped
50g candied orange peel, finely chopped
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
3 cardamom pods (seeds only, lightly crushed in the pestle and mortar)
1 egg to wash the dough
75g flour and 3tbsp water to make the paste for the cross
Runny honey to glaze the buns

1 Mix together the flour, yeast and salt. Make a well in the bottom of the bowl and pour in the milk and green tea.
2 Using your hand or a dough hook on a stand mixer bring the wet and dry ingredients together to form a ball of dough. Knead on the work surface or in the mixer to develop the gluten. Work the dough for a good 10 minutes at least in order for it to be smooth and stretchy and ready for proving.
3 Cover the bowl and leave to prove to double in size.
4 Scoop out the dough and stretch over the work surface until it is about the size of an A4 sheet of paper. Sprinkle the spices and scatter the fruit over the dough.
5 Fold the dough over itself to encase the spice and fruit then knead the dough to distribute the spice and fruit through it.
6 This quantity of dough will make 6 large Hot Cross Buns or 10 small ones.
7 Portion off the dough and roll into balls. Put the dough balls onto a floured baking tray to proof again, 1 – 2 cm apart so that as they proof up they start to touch each other.
8 Leave to double in size again and pre-heat your oven to 185oC.
9 Brush the buns with beaten egg and a pastry brush.
10 Make up a paste of the flour and water, and put into a piping bag. Snip off the end of the bag, always make a smaller hole than you think you need to because the paste will spread as the buns bake in the oven.
11 Pipe a cross onto each bun and then bake for 25 minutes in the preheated oven.
12 Glaze with runny honey after the buns have come out of the oven and cooled for 10 minutes.

Recipe from Peter Sidwell, in association with California Prunes

Pink Lady apple, chocolate and orange zest hot cross buns

Pink lady hot cross buns

Serves 12
300ml full fat milk
50g unsalted butter
500g sieved strong bread flour
60g caster sugar
10g fast acting yeast
1 beaten egg
1 teaspoon of salt
100g finely chopped dark chocolate
1 zest of an orange
1 cored and finely chopped Pink Lady™ apple
Vegetable oil for bowl

For the cross
80g sieved plain flour

For the glaze
20ml milk
8 tbsp honey

1 Heat the milk in a pan and bring to the boil. When boiling, take off the heat and add the butter to melt. Leave to cool until warm but not hot.
2 In a large mixing bowl mix the strong bread flour, caster sugar, salt and yeast. Make a well in the centre of the mix and slowly pour in your warm milk/butter and egg, combining the flour mixture to create a paste, keep going until it all comes together to form a dough. You can use a fork or your hand for this.
3 With your formed dough, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes to create a smooth elastic dough that should spring back when you press it.
4 Put the kneaded dough into a clean well-oiled bowl and cover with oiled cling film. Leave in a warm dry place until doubled in size, which should roughly take an hour.
5 Once your dough has risen add your chocolate, apple and orange zest and knead through to fully combine.
6 The mixture should weigh about 1.08 kg, if you divide it by 12 each bun should weigh about 90g.
7 Form each bun into a neat round shape and place onto a lined baking tray, leaving space for each bun to grow. Lightly score a cross into each bun.
8 Cover with oiled cling film or a clean t towel and leave to grow for another hour.
9 Once risen, glaze the buns with some milk.
10 To make the cross, slowly mix about 8 tbsp of water to the plain flour until you have a paste that you can pipe. Put into a piping bag or a freezer bag and snip the corner.
11 Pipe crosses onto the buns.
12 Put into a preheated oven 200c fan/gas 7 for 20 minutes.
13 Once your buns are baked, place onto a cooling rack.
14 Heat the honey and brush onto the buns to glaze.

For more recipes like this one, please visit

Hot cross bun pudding

hot cross bun pudding

Serves 4
4 hot cross buns
15g Rachel’s unsalted butter
320ml double cream
100ml Rachel’s whole milk
2 eggs & 1 egg yolk
100g Rachel’s Organic Natural yogurt
1 tsp Demerara sugar

1 Pre-heat the oven to 160°C/Gas 3 and grease a 1 litre ovenproof dish.
2 Cut the hot cross buns in half and spread with butter both sides. Arrange the buns in an ovenproof dish layering the cross sides face up on top.
3 In a small pan add the cream and milk and heat until just warm.
4 In a small bowl add the eggs and egg yolk, pour over the heated cream and milk and whisk thoroughly. Add the yogurt, whisk again.
5 Pour the mixture over the buns a little at a time, ensuring it has time to soak in.
6 Sprinkle the pudding with Demerara sugar and place on a baking sheet.
7 Bake for approximately 30 minutes. The resulting pudding should be puffed up, set and golden brown.

Recipe originally published at

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3 hot cross bun recipes: California Prune & Orange, Pink Lady apple, chocolate & orange zest, and Hot Cross bun pudding
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