Easter is this weekend and there is nothing nicer than a hot cross bun.  Eat them fresh and warm from the oven with some butter or split and toast them the next day for breakfast with some crispy bacon and a drizzle of maple syrup.

This is an enriched bread dough and it can take a bit longer to rise and prove, so just be patient – the longer it takes, the more flavour there will be.

You don’t have to do the crosses if you don’t want to, just slash the tops of the buns with a knife like I have done in the picture before you put them in the oven.

Honeyed Hot Cross Buns

Makes 12

Hot cross buns with slashed tops!

Hot cross buns with slashed tops!

500g strong white flour

1  tsp fast action yeast

1 tsp salt

2 large tbsp. honey

1 egg

30g butter – melted

250ml half and half milk and water mixed

100g mixed raisins, sultanas and currants

Zest of 1/2  an orange

2 tsp mixed spice

4 tbsp plain flour

Enough water to make a thick paste.

Apricot jam and a little water to make a glaze

  1. Mix the flour, yeast and salt together in a bowl
  2. Heat the milk, water, butter and honey together until slightly warmer than blood heat.  Stir into the flour mix, add the egg, fruit, orange rind and spice.  Bring together to form a soft dough and knead for about 10 min.
  3. Form into a ball and allow to rise until 2 or 3 times the original size.
  4. Knock back and divide into 12 pieces.  Form into balls and place on a baking sheet.  Cover and allow to rise again.
  5. Set the oven to 200C/400F/gas6
  6. Make up the flour and water paste, pipe crosses onto the buns, then bake for 15 – 20 min or until the buns are cooked.
  7. Remove from the oven and brush over apricot glaze to finish.