Hot Cross Buns recipe

Hot cross buns, an Easter favourite - Photo: Graham Nelson

Hot cross buns, an Easter favourite - Photo: Graham Nelson - Credit: Archant

Try this recipe for an Easter favourite from expert Lisa Bennison, a senior tutor at Bettys Cookery School

Hot Cross Buns

Makes 12

You will need:

• 400g strong white flour

• 60g caster sugar

• 1 tsp salt

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• 2 tbsp mixed spice

• 45g vegetable shortening

• 130ml water tepid

• 50g fresh yeast

• 70ml milk

• 100g currants

• 100g sultanas

• 50g mixed peel

To make:

1. Pre-heat your oven to 190°C (fan assisted).

2. In a large bowl, place the flour, sugar, salt and mixed spice and mix together until the ingredients are evenly distributed and rub the vegetable shortening in with your fingertips until there are no large lumps left.

3. In a small jug mix the tepid water and fresh yeast until dissolved thoroughly.

4. Pour the yeast mixture and the milk into the dry ingredients. Mix by hand until the ingredients are combined into a dough.

5. Knead the dough for approximately 10-12 minutes by hand until the dough is smooth and elastic.

6. Once the dough is ready, roll it out and evenly scatter over the dried fruit. Roll the dough into a Swiss roll shape and knead gently until the fruit is evenly distributed throughout the dough.

7. Allow the dough to rest for a few minutes, then divide into 12 equal portions (weighing about 80g each) and roll each piece into round buns.

8. Place the buns onto a lined baking tray, 6 buns to a tray, leaving enough space between them to allow for rising.

9. To create a proving environment, place an up turned bowl into the sink with enough hot tap water to come half way up the side of the bowl. Place a tray of hot cross buns on the bowl and carefully lay cling film over the top of the sink to trap the warmth and moisture. Ensure the cling film does not touch the top of the hot cross buns.

10. When the buns have risen, spoon the crossing paste (see separate recipe), into a piping bag and cut a small hole in the end. Pipe the paste across all the buns one way and then across them all in the opposite direction to give a neat cross on the top of each bun.

11. Place the buns into the oven at 190ºC fan assisted, and bake for 10-12 minutes until they are a rich golden brown.

12. Remove from the oven and immediately brush the tops with the sugar syrup glaze (see separate recipe). Place the buns onto wire racks and leave to cool.

Crossing Paste

You will need:

• 100g strong white flour

• Pinch of salt

• Pinch of baking powder

• 25ml vegetable oil

• 100ml water

To make:

1.You can make crossing paste either the day before or a couple of hours before use to allow the paste to relax before piping.

2. Sieve the flour, salt and baking powder together into a mixing bowl, then add the vegetable oil. Mix together into a crumb-like texture.

3. Start to add the water a little at a time and beat by hand until all the water has been added and a smooth paste has formed. Do not add the water too quickly as it may become lumpy.

4. Once all the water has been added, beat for a few minutes to develop the gluten. The mixture will start to become elastic. Cover the bowl with cling film to prevent a skin forming and leave to relax in the fridge.

Sugar Syrup Glaze

You will need:

• 50g caster sugar

• 50ml water

To make:

1. Place the sugar and water into a small saucepan and bring it to the boil.

2. Boil continuously for 10-15 minutes until the liquid becomes syrup-like.

3. Carefully pour the syrup into a jug and leave to cool.

To find out more about courses at Bettys Cookery School, Harrogate visit

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