For a twist on a classic Easter recipe, give these gorgeous hot cross buns a go this year and you’ll not be disappointed. They make a wonderful Easter cake alternative and really switch up your usual hot cross buns.
- 1 x 7g sachet fast action dried yeast
- 175g (6oz) caster sugar
- 250ml (9fl oz) semi skimmed milk, warm
- 600g (1lb 5oz) strong white bread flour
- 3 tsp mixed spice
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 3 oranges, zest & juice
- 75g (3oz) unsalted butter, plus 1 tbsp melted
- 125g (4½oz) mixed dried fruit
- 100g (4oz) chocolate chips
- 1 egg yolk, mixed with 1 tbsp milk
- 50g (2oz) plain flour
Place the yeast in a bowl and mix with 1 tbsp caster sugar. Pour over 4 tbsp warm milk and leave to foam for 5 minutes.
In a separate bowl add the flour, 125g (4½oz) sugar, salt, spices, zest and butter and using the tips of your finger rub together until it resembles breadcrumbs. Stir through the dried fruit and chocolate chips.
Pour in the yeast mixture, juice of 1 orange and most of the remaining milk. Mix to a sticky dough adding more milk if you need it. Knead for 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.
Place on a baking sheet and cover with lightly oiled cling film. Leave in a warm place for 1- 2 hours to rise or until doubled in size.
Divide into 24 equal balls and place in rows almost touching each other on a large baking tray. Recover with the greased cling film and leave for another hour to double in size again.
Preheat the oven to 190C/170C fan/375F/Gas 5. Brush the egg yolk mixture over the buns. Mix the flour with 1 tbsp melted butter and spoon into a piping bag with plain nozzle. Pipe a cross on each bun and bake for 10-15 minutes until golden.
Heat the remaining 50g (2oz) sugar with the juice of half an orange until dissolved. Brush over the buns and allow to cool.
If you have any of these leftover they would make a yummy hot cross bun bread and butter pudding!