The best hot cross buns

Instead of tucking into the store-bought version of hot cross buns this Easter, why not spend some time in the kitchen? You can easily whip up these perfect, fresh buns. They taste their absolute best when they come straight from the oven!

With a bit of butter melted into the warm bread, these are the ultimate Easter treat to enjoy all long weekend. Make yourself a hot cuppa and relax.

Happy Easter!

Prep time 25 minutes
Cooking time 20 minutes
Rising time 2 hours
Makes 12

Ingredients

FOR THE BUNS

  • 3 tsp instant or rapid rise yeast
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups milk, warm, (we recommend full fat or low fat)
  • 4 1/4 cups plain flour
  • 2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 22 tsp All Spice OR Mixed Spice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups  sultanas
  • 1 – 2 oranges, zest only
  • 50g  unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 egg, at room temperature

EXTRA FLOUR FOR DOUGH

  • 1/4 cup plain flour

FOR THE CROSSES

  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 5 tbsp water

FOR THE GLAZE

  • 1 tbsp apricot jam
  • 2 tsp water

Method

  1. Place flour, yeast, sugar, all spice, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl. Briefly mix with stand mixer fitted with a dough hook.
  2. Add butter, milk, egg, sultanas and zest.
  3. Standmixer: Mix until a smooth elastic dough forms — 5 minutes on Speed 2. After 1 minute, add extra flour if required, just enough so dough comes away from side of bowl when mixing and doesn’t stick terribly to your fingers.
  4. Hand kneading: Alternatively, dust a work surface with flour and knead by hand for 10 minutes.
  5. Dough is kneaded enough when it’s smooth and does not break when stretched.
  6. Leave dough in the bowl, cover with cling wrap and place in a warm, wind free place to rise until doubled in size. This will take anywhere between 30 minutes to 1.5 hours depending on how warm it is.
  7. Line a 31.5cm x 23.5cm tray with baking paper with overhang.
  8. Remove cling wrap and punch dough to deflate. Dust work surface with flour, place dough on work surface, shape into a log – this will deflate the air. Cut into 12 equal pieces. Take one piece and press down with palm, then use your fingers to gather into a ball, then roll the dough briefly to form a ball. This stretches the dough on one side and that’s how I get a nice smooth surface. Place the ball with the smooth side up on the tray. Repeat with remaining dough. Line them up 3 x 4.
  9. Spray a piece of cling wrap lightly with oil (any), then loosely place over the tray. Return tray to warm place and leaver 35-45 minutes, until the dough has risen by about 75 per cent (less than double in size). Preheat oven to 180C.
  10. Make Crosses: Mix flour and water until a thick runny paste forms. Spoon into a round 3mm piping bag or small zip lock bag then snip corner. Remove the cling wrap and pipe crosses onto the buns. Go slow so it hugs the curves.
  11. Bake for 22 minutes, or until the surface is a deep golden brown. Meanwhile, place jam and water in a bowl, microwave for 30 seconds. Mix to combine.
  12. Remove buns from oven. Use overhang to lift buns onto a cooling rack. Brush with jam mixture while warm. Allow to cool to warm before serving.

Nutritional Information (per serving)

Calories: 217kcal

Written by Calista Bruschi

When she’s not moulding Play-Doh or dancing in the living room with her children, Calista Bruschi is an editor and writer. She has oodles of experience working on newspapers, magazines and websites. Calista likes to organise and be organised. She loves being a mum, Italian food, wine, sport and stationery. She hasn't sleep a full night in more than five years and is powered by coffee.

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