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It’s a long time till Good Friday, but these are too good to wait for! I have a special love of fruit bread, especially those spiced with cinnamon, so hot cross buns have always been a favourite of mine.

The supermarkets have been selling Hot Cross Buns since after Valentines Day, but I am yet to buy a single one. I made a promise to try to make more things myself. At Christmas I refused to buy mince pies and instead made my own – and I would never buy them again now. Why should it be any different for Hot Cross Buns?

Hot Cross Buns

Well the truth is it’s not. These are wonderful, and because they are made with Wholewheat flour, you can feel just that small bit better about yourself when you eat them.

Wholewheat Hot Cross Buns

~ makes 12 small buns. Taken from April’s edition of “Good Food”

  • 450 grams of Strong Wholewheat flour
  • 14 grams of easy blend yeast, if you don’t have easy blend yeast then add the yeast to the warm milk and leave for 5 minutes until frothy instead of just adding to the flour.
  • 50 grams of Caster Sugar
  • 150 ml of warm milk
  • 50 ml of warm water
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 50 grams unsalted butter melted
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp of mixed spice, I don’t have any mixed spice so I added 1/4 tsp of ginger and 1/4 tsp of allspice
  • 1/4 tsp of nutmeg
  • 100 grams of currants, I used sultanas
  • 4 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar

Add the flour, yeast, sugar, along with the spices and the sultanas into a bowl and mix throughly. Create a well in the centre of your mixture and pour in the warm milk, water, beaten egg and melted butter. Mix to form a dough, if it is too dry you may want to add more water.

Knead the dough for around 5 minutes until it is smooth and springy, transfer to a clean oiled bowl. Leave to rest, in a warm place, with a damp tea towel for an hour.

Once it has doubled in size, knead for a few seconds to de-gas and then split the dough into 12 pieces. Shape each piece into a sphere and then slightly flatten on to a baking tray. Try to leave space between them as they may expand as they heat up.

Use a sharp knife to slice a cross into each bun and leave to rest for 20 minutes.
Hot Cross Buns before baking

While the buns are resting, first put the oven on to preheat at 180oC, then make up the flour paste for the crosses of your buns. Mix 4 tablespoons of plain flour with water, be careful too much water and the paste will drip off the bun, not enough water and you won’t be able to pipe it. I know this because I kept flip flopping between once extreme and the other. In the end mine was a little watery so the cross didn’t stand out as much as I wanted it to.

Once you have made your paste to the correct consistency add the paste to a piping bag and pipe along the cut in each bun, filling the gap.

Once the oven is preheated place the buns in the oven and leave to cook for 12 to 15 minutes, till they are browned and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Mix the 2 tbsp of caster sugar with water and melt together. While the buns and still warm brush each bun with the syrup.

I had two of these mini buns for breakfast this morning with a cup of coffee and some raspberry jam, the sultanas were soft and plump and crust soft and sweet. Yum.

Two Hot Cross Buns

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