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Proper Traditional Hot Cross Buns
Servings: 12
: 169 kcal
Author: Just Jo
  • 1 cup sultanas
  • Zest and juice of an orange
  • 2 cups strong bread flour approx 250g
  • 30 g frozen then grated butter
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground mixed spice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 7 g dried yeast
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 1 egg beaten
For the cross
  • 1/4 cup self raising flour
For the glaze
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  1. Pop the sultanas, zest and juice in the bowl of your stand mixer and leave whilst you prep everything else.
  2. Warm the milk until just warm to the touch.
  3. Whisk all the dry ingredients together then stir in the butter.
  4. Stir the flour mix into the sultanas in the stand mixer bowl.
  5. Beat the egg into the warm milk then pour in combining to a soft sticky dough with a flexible spatula – add a little more milk if needed or a spoon of flour if too sticky. I can’t stress enough how you need it to be soft and sticky – get it right here and your buns will be a success.
  6. Knead for 10 minutes until the sticky batter has become smooth and cleans the sides of the bowl.
  7. Gather into a ball, grease the bowl and cover with cling until it has risen at least to double the size.
  8. Gently tip out into a floured surface and knead until the air is released then form into a long sausage shape about 2 inches in diameter.
  9. Cut into equal sized portions – I like to cut in half, then half again and again and so on until have a collection dough balls which are all of even size (this dough grows a lot when proved and baked – make them small or you’ll end up with supersized HXBs!).
  10. Form into balls with floured hands and pop into a floured baking tin at least 20 x 30 cm in size Cover with oiled clingfilm and leave to prove again until doubled in size – they should be just touching after this rise (they will join up on baking).
  11. Mix the self raising flour with 2 tbsp of cold water until a thick but flowable paste is achieved – pop in a small piping bag or a food bag – cut the corner off whichever you use to have about a 3mm diameter opening to squeeze your dough paste out of.
  12. Pipe lines at right angles to form the “crosses” on your buns – its easiest to do in one long line is you’ve lined your buns up in your tin rather than putting them in haphazardly
  13. Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for 20-25 minutes until browned, well risen and joined up at the sides. I like to put some ice cubes in a tray at the bottom of the oven as I put the buns in to create steam and help with the rise.
  14. If glazing (I must admit I prefer an unglazed HXB) mix the caster sugar with 1 tbsp boiling water then brush over the hot buns. Cool to room temp in the tin and then split in half and slather with good, cold salted butter. Heavenly eating.
Recipe Notes

Adapted from my friend Selena-Jayne's own recipe