• Hot Cross Scones are another way to get all those sweet spices from the Easter buns into your afternoon tea!

Hot Cross Scones

We had a bit of a baking disaster on poor Hungry Hubby’s birthday. The reason I made that jam will not be getting blogged as all I had to show was a “birthday cake” with a burnt outside and completely raw middle. It was just awful and I really felt like I’d let my fuzzy man down. We did celebrate the next evening at a favourite restaurant back home which was just perfect and then we spent the rest of the weekend with my family celebrating three recent birthdays and of course – Easter. We are the antithesis of religious in my family but we do believe in family and will celebrate the high days and holidays with gusto. Easter Sunday morning I was (as always) the first up so I took the opportunity to fill the house with the smells of baking in the way of these Hot Cross Scones.

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When I discovered Paul Hollywood’s technique for making scones, I was smitten. They rose toweringly tall and had a beautiful light, fluffy texture I’d never managed to recreate at home before. It is a little unconventional – you use bread flour in his original recipe as he says thats the way all the “big hotels” make them and are encouraged to fold the dough over more than I would feel comfortable with a traditional scone recipe. I used Canadian white bread flour and I really love it – it is milled very fine and gives a pale yellow, golden hue to bakes made with it. Here is how they turn out though when made plain, without the Easter embellishments I am about to get onto.

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I’ve made a brown sugar version with cream instead of milk that turned out beautifully and have plans for a ginger version next time scones are on our itinerary (that is code for having people to stay, I almost always crack out my scone cutter when weekend guests come to stop me hoovering up a batch all on my own – method to my madness 😉 ). As I’d lost a bit of conference after Birthday Cake Gate, I didn’t feel up to making some actual hot cross buns but I did feel confident enough in this recipe to add a few bits and pieces to give a nod and a wink to those luscious buns.

Hot Cross Scones

So quick, get your bake on for one more Easter themed treat. If you are out of mixed spice from a frenzy of hot cross bun or simnel cake baking, then why not make your own? Here is my recipe – it really does taste so much better to grind your own spice mixes.  I think these scones are perfect hot from the oven with only butter to serve but I would whole heartedly encourage the use of some ginger jam or if you have it, home made marmalade.  You need the tang against these sweet, spiced scones.  Enjoy what’s left of your Bank Holiday weekend and if you don’t have time to make these seasonal treats this year, do Pin it on Pinterest for next year using the icon below this post x

Check out my Lemon Drizzle Scones for a video about how to make scones using this fab technique!

Hot Cross Scones
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Hot Cross Scones
Love Hot Cross Buns but want a hit of spicy, sweet, fruited treats in around 20-25 minutes? Then you need Hot Cross Scones!
Author: Just Jo
Ingredients
  • 450 g plus 50g strong bread flour
  • 2-3 tsp mixed spice
  • 80 g soft butter
  • 80 g caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs plus one for egg washing
  • 5 tsp baking powder
  • 250 ml milk
  • 1 tsp orange extract or 1 tsp orange zest
  • 2 handfuls of dried fruit of your liking
  • 2-3 tbsp plain flour
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C.
  2. Pile 50g of the strong bread flour onto the work surface, ready to fold your sticky soft scone dough into (briskness and efficiency are crucial in scone making!).
  3. Next, mix the plain flour with 1-2 tsp of cold water and work until it is a thick, shaggy mess. Allow to stand as you mix up the scone dough as the flour will continue to absorb the water and you don't want it too sloppy or the crosses you pipe will be messy. Leave to the side for now.
  4. Sift the spice and 450g of the bread flour together then rub in the soft butter with your hands or a spatula if you prefer.
  5. Stir in the sugar, dried fruit, and then the baking powder.
  6. Whisk the eggs into the milk with the orange extract or zest and pour in about half - bring the dough together and dribble in more milk mix until you have a soft and sticky dough. It should be stickier than you think (trust me!).
  7. Here comes the magic bit – use the extra flour on the worktop to dust the top of the dough as you pat it out and fold it in half, turning by 90 degrees each time until you have incorporated most of the flour. Repeat 4 or 5 times and the dough will no longer be sticky and the extra flour should have been worked in. This is "chaffing" up the dough and it builds up flaky layers in the scones.
  8. Pat out to 1.5-2 inches thick (I love my scones very tall) and use a well floured scone cutter to stamp out as many as you can manage. As always, the second pass scones rise a little less from the extra “work” of patting the dough back out.
  9. Sit on a floured baking tray fairly close together and brush the tops with the little bit of milk and egg mixture you are likely to have leftover.
  10. Check the flour and water for the cross and if you must, dribble in tiny amounts of water at a time to make it slightly thicker than toothpaste. Scoop into a piping or food bag, snip off 3-4mm and pipe crosses on top of the scones then get them straight in the oven.
  11. Bake for 15 minutes until very well risen, browned and sound hollow when you tap their bums.
How to make super tall Hot Cross Scones. Perfect for Easter mornings or afternoon teas :D

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11 Comments

  1. lizziethelazystudentcook 21/04/2014 at 14:00 - Reply

    Hot cross scones! Why not? 🙂

    • Jo Blogs 21/04/2014 at 14:10 - Reply

      Why not indeed – the hot cross bun for yeast-phobes 😉

  2. frugalfeeding 22/04/2014 at 13:31 - Reply

    Good idea! Wish I’d thought of it… next year… I wan’t to do a savoury hot cross bun too…

    • Jo Blogs 22/04/2014 at 17:55 - Reply

      How would that go? A friend made HXBs from a crusty no knead bread recipe but I must say, I like the soft sweet ones best 🙂

      • frugalfeeding 23/04/2014 at 09:03 - Reply

        I guess we’ll find out… 😀 – let me think about it for 12 months!

        • Jo Blogs 23/04/2014 at 20:23 - Reply

          I shall be intrigued to see were you take this indeed!

  3. Ann Koekepan 23/04/2014 at 09:57 - Reply

    That is a great recipe Jo! And your pictures are realy nice 🙂 A recipe to keep!

    • Jo Blogs 23/04/2014 at 20:23 - Reply

      Defintely recommended Ann – one of those good basic recipes you can tweak and make your own 🙂

  4. Holly Connors 11/05/2014 at 08:05 - Reply

    I love the idea of hot cross scones. Although I’m a little scared of baking scones. I tried once… and made rocks! One day…

    • Jo Blogs 11/05/2014 at 08:11 - Reply

      This is a good recipe to try then Holly as you do need to knead (lightly) and using the bread flour makes it very forgiving :D.
      P.s. I adore the dress you have on in your avatar!

      • Holly Connors 11/05/2014 at 08:36 - Reply

        Thanks Jo. I might have to have a go. I do love scones & hot cross buns 😉

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