- 500g strong plain flour
- 2tsp mixed spice
- 20g fresh yeast or 10g dried yeast
- 75g caster sugar
- 10g salt
- 120ml warm water
- 120ml warm milk
- 2 free range eggs beaten
- 40g softened butter
- 50g peeled pistachios
- 50g white chocolate chips
- 200g dried cranberries
- 75g plain flour
- 75g water
- 75ml honey
One of my most favourite things at Easter, other than chocolate of course, are hot cross buns. I love them! I enjoy mine simply toasted and spread with a nice layer of butter. These sticky, lightly spiced fruity buns are really easy to make and I suggest you give it a go. They don’t have to be traditional, although I suggest never removing the five spice, but you can change the fillings. My favourite is white chocolate and pistachio, but also dark chocolate and orange works really well. Make these early on Good Friday morning and they should last you all weekend.
- Place the flour and mixed spice into a large mixing bowl add the salt and sugar.
- Add the yeast to the warm water and milk then dissolve.
- Add the yeast mix, butter and eggs into the mixing bowl and turn the mixture round with your fingers, you want a dough that is soft, but not soggy. Keep mixing until you form a rough dough.
- Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and begin to knead. Keep kneading for 5-10 minutes. Work through the initial wet stage until the dough starts to form a soft, smooth skin.
- When your dough feels smooth and silky, put it into a lightly oiled large bowl. Cover with a tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place until it doubles in size – at least 1 hour, but its fine to leave it for 2 hours.
- Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and scatter the white chocolate, pistachios and cranberries on top. Knead in until evenly incorporated. Cover and leave to rise for a further hour.
- Fold the dough inwards repeatedly until all the air is knocked out. Divide into 12 pieces and roll into balls. Place, fairly close together, on a baking tray lined with baking parchment or silicone paper.
- Put each tray inside a clean plastic bag and leave to rest for 1 hour, or until the dough has at least doubled in size and springs back quickly if you prod it lightly with your finger. Meanwhile, heat your oven to 200°C.
- For the crosses – mix the flour and water to a paste. Use a piping bag fitted with a fine nozzle, pipe crosses on the buns. Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Warm the honey with a splash of water and brush over the tops of the warm buns to glaze. Cool on a wire rack.
- You can drizzle with melted white chocolate and chopped pistachios if you wish.