How to make hot cross buns at home as you spend the Easter holidays in lockdown

Easter is almost here but this year is very different to what we’re used to.

There won’t be any big outdoor Easter egg hunts this year as we’re all in lockdown.

And if you want to have some delicious Easter sweet treats, but don’t want to make a trip the shop, you can try to make your own.

Earlier this week, we showed you how to make your own Easter eggs and now we bring you a recipe for hot cross buns, from Borough Market baking masters Bread Ahead.

Yes, you can probably pick some up alongside your essential shop but with lots of people in a baking mood, now is the time to try it yourself.

You do need quite a few ingredients for these rich doughy treats but with shops restocking now, it might be easier to get them now.

Have a good hunt in your spice cupboard to add what you can to the mix. Lots of the ingredients are things that keep for a long time so hopefully, you have them around.

This recipe adds traditional fruit to the dough but you can use the base dough and add something else if you want to. The cross is made made separately and the glaze gives them that traditional shine.

Bread Ahead will be baking these live on Instagram on Friday so follow along if you need some guidance.

This recipe makes 12 but if you have some leftovers, you can use them to make this hot cross bun bread and butter pudding.


Makes 12 

250g strong white bread flour 

3g salt 

40g caster sugar 

6g mixed spice 

3g nutmeg 

30g unsalted butter 

40g sultanas 

25g mixed peel 

30g peeled, cored and diced apple 

8g fresh yeast (or 4g dried yeast) 

140g milk 

For the cross

100g flour 

a pinch of caster sugar 

a pinch of fine sea salt 

The glaze

100g caster sugar 

50ml lemon juice 

100g water 

Method to make hot cross buns

In a bowl place all the dry ingredients. Rub in the butter to form a sandy consistency. 

Mix together the yeast and milk, add to the dry ingredients and fold till combined. 

Turn out your dough on to the work surface and knead your dough, hold onto your dough with one hand and with the other hand stretch and fold your dough for around five minutes until the dough is nice and smooth. 

Stretch out your dough into a pizza shape and add your fruit combination in the centre, fold over your dough into a Cornish pasty shape covering your fruit.

Gently start to roll and fold your dough till the fruits are evenly distributed, once distributed place the dough in a bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave at room temperature for one hour or until doubled in size.

Line a baking tray with baking paper. Place the mixture on a lightly floured surface and cut into 65g pieces. Roll each one into a smooth ball and place on the baking tray, leave plenty of room as they will spread out. Cover with clingfilm and leave to double in size.

While the buns are proving make the cross mixture and the glaze. Mix together the flour, sugar, salt and 100g water until you have a smooth paste, pour into a piping bag with a 4mm plain nozzle.

In a small pan place the sugar, lemon juice and 100g water, bring to the boil and simmer until the temperature reaches 105C, or about 5 minutes.

Pre heat the oven to 180C/Fan 160C/Gas 4

Once the buns have proved, pipe a cross on the top of each one and bake for 14-15 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack. After 2 minutes, brush with the bun glaze.

Serve warm with plenty of butter.

Happy baking!

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