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Hot-Cross-BunsMy thanks for this recipe go to an experienced baker named Mike, who shared his knowledge and expertise with me and showed me how to achieve consistently excellent results with bread and buns. In the past my attempts have yielded fairly abysmal results, but not anymore! These buns are delicious and freeze well. I have not given precise quantities for the fruit as it is down to your preference. As a guide I use a large handful of both.



  • 450g strong white flour (it must be strong bread flour)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 56g caster sugar
  • 56g softened butter
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • 7g sachet of dried yeast
  • 196g warm water
  • Sultanas/Currants/Mixed peel
  • Paste for the Crosses
  • 3 tbsp plain flour
  • ½ tsp oil
  • Enough cold water to make a porridge like consistency


  1. Mix the flour, salt, sugar and spice together
  2. On a clean work surface tip out the flour mixture and make a large oval well in it
  3. Place the butter, dried yeast and water into the well and with the fingers of one hand gently mix in the flour, starting from the inner walls, until the mixture is no longer runny and is paste-like. Now with both hands, scrape the remaining flour into the centre, lifting it as you do so (as you would when making pastry) until the mixture becomes stringy and ribbon-like.
  4. Now knead the dough together by holding one end of the dough in place with one hand and stretching it out and away from you using the other hand. Repeat this for around 10-15 mins until the dough feels smooth, silky and not at all sticky. You can test whether the dough is ready by using the ‘window test’ – take a small piece of the dough and roll it around in your hand, then stretch it out slowly to make a thin membrane. If you can see the light through this membrane, your dough is ready!
  5. Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave to rest at room temperature for about 30 mins.
  6. Tip the dough on to your work surface and mix in your desired fruit – this will require a little bit of kneading.  Once again, leave to rest as above for a further 30 mins.
  7. Once again tip the dough on to your work surface and divide into pieces weighing approximately 84g.  Roll into ball shapes and place onto a lined tray, in straight lines. Once you have shaped all the buns cover loosely (making sure the cover doesn’t touch the top of the buns as they will swell) and leave to rest for 1 to 2 hours at room temperature. They should double in size during this time.
  8. Make up your paste mixture and, using a piping bag, pipe a continuous straight line across all the buns. Then repeat in the other direction, to form a cross.
  9. Bake in the centre of the oven at 220C, 200Fan, Gas 7 for approx 15 mins until gold brown – they should sound hollow when tapped underneath.
  10. Place on a cooling rack and brush with a glazing syrup made up of caster sugar and a small amount of boiling water. Leave to cool.


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