With Easter fast approaching, what better time to learn how to make hot cross buns in your kitchen at home? But don’t take our word for it; let the Queen of British Baking show you how it’s done. Why not watch the video – it’s less than 5 minutes long – and have a go yourself? Here’s the recipe:
Ingredients (makes 12 buns):
500g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
75g caster sugar
2 tsp ground mixed spice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Zest of 1 lemon
1 tbsp salt
10g fast action dried yeast
1 egg, beaten
50g choppe mixed peel
oil for greasing
For the topping: 75g plain flour, 2 tbsp golden syrup for glazing
Mix the flour, sugar, spices and lemon zest together in a large bowl, and add the salt and yeast.
Melt the butter in one pan and warm the milk in another pan, then add the butter and warm milk to the dry ingredients. Add the eggs and bring the mixture together with your hands, incorporating the flour from the edge of the bowl. Gradually add the rest of the milk to form a soft dough.
Place the dough onto a lightly floured work surface – a marble worktop is ideal for working with dough and pastry – and knead, adding the sultanas and mixed peel, for 10 minutes until a smooth and silk ball is formed, or use a food mixer with a dough hook attachment.
Put the dough ball into an oiled bowl and cover with cling film. Leave to rest in a warm place for approx. 1.5 hours until the dough has doubled in size. Then turn the dough out onto a floured surface and divide into 12 equally sized balls.
Line 1 or 2 baking trays with non-stick baking paper and place the balls on the tray fairly closely together, flattening them slightly. Slip each baking tray into a large polythene bag (making sure the bag doesn’t touch the buns!) and leave for 40-60 minutes until the buns have doubled in size.
For the topping, add flour and 100ml water in a bowl, mix to a paste and spoon into an icing bag with a 3mm nozzle. Remove the buns from the polythene bag and pipe a cross on each bun.
Bake in a preheated electric oven (220C / 200C Fan) or gas oven (Gas Mark 7) for 15-20 minutes until pale golden brown, turning the baking trays round halfway through baking if necessary.
Melt golden syrup in a pan and brush the still warm hot cross buns to give them a nice shine, then set aside to cool on a wire rack.