Traditionally eaten on Good Friday, Hot Cross Buns are first supposed to have been made by a monk in St Albans Abbey in the fourteenth century, to distribute to the poor.
The Royal Pastry Chefs have shared their recipe and method to make these delicious Easter treats.
- 1.5 free-range eggs
- 25g (1/8 cup) fresh yeast
- 375g (3 cups) strong flour
- 2 tablespoons unrefined caster sugar
- 60g (¼ cup) unsalted butter, chilled and diced
- a generous pinch of salt
- 130ml (½ cup) tepid water
- 2 tablespoons candied mixed peel
- 2 tablespoons golden sultanas
- 2 tablespoons raisins
- 2 teaspoons ground mixed spice
For the piping paste:
- 4 tablespoons plain white flour
- 1 tablespoon unrefined caster sugar
- 1 tablespoon cold water
For the sugar syrup:
- 100ml (½ cup) water
- 200g (1 cup) unrefined caster sugar
- piping bag
Preheat the oven to 220ºC (425ºF, gas mark 7).
Disperse the yeast in the tepid water. Sieve the flour, salt, sugar and mixed spice into a large mixing bowl.
Make a well in the centre of the mixture. Place the eggs and dispersed yeast into a small bowl and mix together before pouring into the well in the centre of the dry ingredients. Mix together to form a soft pliable dough and work in the butter.
Turn the dough out on to a lightly floured work surface and carefully incorporate the dried fruit into the dough. Knead the dough for a further 5 minutes, or until it feels smooth and elastic.
Divide the dough into evenly sized buns - this recipe will make about 15.
You can weigh them on a set of scales to ensure consistent sizes; you will need about 50 grams of dough per bun.
Roll each piece of dough into a ball and place on to a lined baking tray and cover with cling film and leave to prove for 30-45 minutes - they should double in size.
While you are waiting, mix together the ingredients for the piping paste to form a paste with a consistency that will allow you to pipe a cross on to each bun.
Once the buns have finished their prove, pipe the crosses, then place the buns on the middle shelf of the preheated oven and bake for 8–12 minutes, or until they turn a pale golden brown.
Whilst they bake, boil together the sugar and water to make the sugar syrup. As soon as you remove the buns from the oven, brush them with the warm sugar syrup and set aside to cool on a wire rack.
Serve and enjoy!
Why not try making a sharing loaf?