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Hot Cross Buns with home-made Orange & Honey Butter

(Makes 14 Buns)



The traditional Hot Cross Buns is a lovely Easter delicacy heralding the arrival of Spring, but with the addition of deliciously flavoured Orange and Honey Home-made butter, it becomes a refreshing alternative to the usual heavy flavour of the spiced bun…



For the Buns:

½ tsp. Salt

1 ½-2 tsp. Mixed Spice

130g Mixed Dried Fruits (Currants, Mixed Peel, Sultanas)

55g Caster Sugar

450g Strong White Bread Flour

12g Dried Yeast

200ml lukewarm Water

1 tbsp. lukewarm Whole Milk

1 large Egg, beaten

55g Unsalted Butter


For the topping:

9 tbsp. Strong White Bread Flour

1tbsp Caster Sugar

1 medium Egg

1 tbsp. Whole Milk


For the Home-made Orange and Honey Butter:

30ml Fresh Double Cream

Zest of ½ Orange

1 tbsp. Runny Honey

A pinch of Salt



For the Hot Cross Buns

1.       Preheat the oven to its lowest setting.

2.     Add the salt, mixed spice, sugar, dried fruits and flour into an ovenproof bowl and place in the oven to warm for 15 minutes. This will ensure that the flavours and aroma are drawn out and later infuse into the dough mixture.

3.      Mix the lukewarm milk with the yeast and add a little lukewarm water (only enough to cover the yeast). Allow the yeast to dissolve (stir if necessary).

4.      Take the bowl of dry ingredients out of the warm oven and make a small well in the centre of the warmed dry ingredients. In the following sequence, first add the yeast mixture then the beaten egg and then the lukewarm water. (If using a blender then add the ingredients in the same sequence). Mix until a smooth, slightly sticky, moist and elastic dough is formed (a blender will require 4-5 minutes of mixing). Now add the butter until it is fully combined with the dough mixture.


Handy Hint:

The more water the dough can take, the softer the resulting bread will be. (The dough should always be a little soft, stretchy and sticky). If the dough has a good 'stretch' ability without breaking when you pull at it, then it will result in a good quality bread with an excellent texture when baked.


5.      Knead the dough for 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and glossy. To 'prove' the dough, cover with oiled clingfilm and leave in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size (after approximately 1 hour).


Trouble-Shooting Tips:

If you stretch the bread dough and it breaks easily, then the dough has not been kneaded/    worked enough.

If you stretch the bread dough and it breaks easily and is also warm to touch, then the dough has been kneaded/ worked too much.


6.      Knock back the risen dough and then turn it out onto a floured work surface. Divide it into 14 portions of equal size and roll each of these into smooth, neat balls. Then place each ball on a baking sheet fairly close together but not touching each other.

7.      Lightly cover the tray containing the dough balls with oiled clingfilm and leave in a warm place to allow them to rise (approximately 30-45 minutes) or until the buns have almost doubled in size and have joined together.

8.      Preheat the oven to 190°C (Gas Mark 5).


To Make the Topping for the Hot Cross Buns (Before Baking):

1.      In a bowl, whisk the flour, sugar and 8tsp cold water together and transfer this to a piping bag with a small nozzle.

2.      Whisk together the egg and milk and brush evenly over the buns.

3.      Using the back of a knife, make a cross pattern over the top of the bun.

4.      Pipe the flour and sugar mixture into the ‘cross pattern’ indentations on each bun.

5.      Bake the buns for 9-12 minutes until they have risen and are golden. Remove and cool on a wire rack before serving with Orange & Honey Home-made Butter.


For the Home-made Orange and Honey Butter

1.      In a blender, add the fresh cream and blend until the liquid separates from the cream solids. Discard the liquid.

2.      Next, take the cream solids and place in a muslin cloth over a bowl. Squeeze out all of the remaining liquid from the cream solids and discard this liquid. The cream solids will form the ‘butter’.

3.      Now add the salt, orange zest and honey to the cream solids and mix these ingredients gently to combine together and form the ‘Honey and Orange Butter’.

4.      Shape the butter as desired, ready to be served. To store, chill in the refrigerator.  


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