HOT CROSS BUNS RECIPE
Everyone’s favourite Easter bake, made with the softest, most fragrant dough. You can toast yours or slather it with butter for extra flavour.
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Serves 4 Total Time 4 hours
- 180ml whole milk
- 1 Earl Grey tea bag
- 2 cardamom pods
- 100g butter
- 7g fast-action dried yeast
- 85g caster sugar
- 450g strong white bread flour
- 1 ½ tbsp ground mixed spice
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 eggs
- 125g currants
- 50g mixed peel
- 3 tbsp plain flour
- Pour the milk into a small saucepan, then tear and put the Earl Grey tea bag and add the cardamom pods into the milk. Warm over a gentle heat until steaming, but not boiling. Leave to infuse and cool to room temperature.
- Cut the butter into 1cm cubes. Then, remove the teabag from the milk and pour the yeast into the milk along with 1 tbsp of the sugar. Give it a mix and leave it to bloom – the yeast should bubble and rise within the milk.
- Tip the flour, mixed spice and 1 tsp of salt into a large bowl. Add your cubed butter and rub in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine yellow breadcrumbs. Add 55g of your sugar and rub in briefly again.
- Make a well in the middle and add the yeasty milk and 2 of your eggs. Mix until you have a sticky dough. Turn out onto the work surface and knead until you have a smooth dough – this will take about 10 mins.
- Pop in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a tea towel. Leave to rise and double in size somewhere warm and dry – this will take up to 2 hours. Then tip the dough out and gently knead again for a minute to knockout the air. Pour the currants and mixed peel onto the dough, then knead again until they are evenly incorporated.
- Divide the dough into 12 even sized pieces. Roll each into a bun shape by flattening it, folding the sides into the middle, then turning it the other way round and shaping it into a ball with the palm of your hand.
- Flatten slightly, then place spaced apart on 2 baking trays and cover with cling film. Leave to rise for another hour. Heat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6. Mix the remaining 3 tbsp of flour with enough water to form a very stiff paste. Pop it into a piping bag.
- With a sharp knife, score a cross in the top of each risen bun. Pipe your mixture into each incision so there is a white cross on top of each bun. Bake for 20-25 mins, or until golden. Whilst baking, pour 2 tbsp boiling water over the remaining sugar and mix to make a quick glaze.
- When the hot cross buns are out of the oven, brush with the glaze. Leave to cool slightly, then brush again. Once cool, slice in half and toast. Slather with butter. Serve and enjoy.
Chef’s tip: Rising times are dependent on how warm your kitchen is. If the dough doesn’t look like it’s rising much, pop it somewhere warm like an airing cupboard or by a radiator to get things moving.