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Cranberry & Orange Hot Cross Buns

A classic Easter treat, Hot Cross Buns are delicious spicy fruit buns that are irresistible when slathered in butter. We definitely believe that they should be enjoyed all year round!

YIELDS

20

INGREDIENTS

For the buns

  • 20g fresh yeast
  • 1 tbsp whole milk
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 400g plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 200ml whole milk
  • 70g golden caster sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 70g soft unsalted butter (at room temperature, ideally for an hour before using)
  • 130g dried unsweetened cranberries
  • 70g candied orange peel, or mixed peel
  • 1/2 fine sea salt

For the Crosses

  • 200g plain flour
  • 230g icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp milk

For the glaze

  • 3 tbsp golden syrup, gently heated

HOW TO MAKE THIS RECIPE

To make the buns

1. Start by mixing the yeast with a tablespoon of whole milk and a teaspoon of caster sugar in a large mixing bowl, until the yeast has completely dissolved. Leave on the side for 15 minutes until little bubbles start to appear. 

2. Sieve in the flour, followed by the cinnamon, nutmeg and mixed spice. Add to this the rest of the milk, golden caster sugar and the egg, and stir well. 

3. Using your hands, start binding the mixture together for 5 minutes until it forms a dough. Add the soft butter gradually, one chunk at a time, whilst kneading the dough. This should take 2 to 3 minutes and should result in a sticky dough. Knead for a further 5 minutes until you have a shiny and smooth dough. 

4. Add to your dough the dried cranberries and candied orange peel and knead for 3 more minutes. Finally, cover your bowl with a clean tea towel and leave to proof in a bowl that has been lightly greased with butter, at room temperature for 1h30 minutes. The dough should have doubled in size. 

5. Remove your dough from the mixing bowl, and place on a lightly floured work surface. Divide your dough into 20 pieces weighing 50g each. Roll each dough piece against the palm of your hand to create smooth round buns. Place these onto a large baking tray lined with baking paper, leaving a gap between them.

6. Proove the buns for a second time, covering the tray with a tea towel and leaving to rise at room temperature for about an hour, until they have doubled in size and the bun's sides are touching each other. 

7. Whisk together the large egg and teaspoon of milk. Delicately brush the buns with that eggwash. 

8. Preheat your oven to 240C/ 220C fan/ Gas 8.

For the Crosses

1. Meanwhile, to make the crosses, gently whisk together the flour, sugar oil and milk into a smooth paste. 

2. Fill a small piping bag with the mixture and, using scissors, cut a small hole at the end of it. 

3. Pipe the mixture on top of the buns in a cross shape and transfer the buns to the oven. 

4. Reduce your oven temperature to 200C/ 180C fan/ Gas 6 and bake for 20 to 22 minutes until golden. 

For the Glaze

1. Whilst your buns are in the oven, heat up gently the Lyle's Golden Syrup in a pan. 

2. As soon as you remove the buns from the oven, carefully brush them with the hot golden syrup, and set aside to cool on a wire rack for around 15 minutes, before serving.

CHEF'S TIP

If you do not have a piping bag, you can easily make one using baking parchment. Cut a large triangle into the baking paper, and roll the longest edge on itself until you have a cone. Add in your mixture, cut a small hole at the end and start pipping!