Making Hot Cross Buns

Posted on by Tania Birtwistle

Do you know the nursery rhyme? Hot cross buns, Hot cross buns, One a penny, two a penny Hot cross buns! If you have no daughters give them to your sons, One a penny, two a penny, hot cross buns!

Did you know? The first written evidence of the hot cross bun goes back to 1733. It was the custom to sell these buns on Good Friday to break the Lenten fast. Street sellers would take trays around markets to sell them. Their cry forms the basis of the nursery rhyme we know today.

Try making some hot cross buns and, if you have a family, make them with the children. It’s a great way of learning about the story of the Last Supper and Good Friday. Here is a child friendly recipe with only one proving and one kneading session. It’s been adapted from different recipes and tried with reliable results!

In the 12th century it is said, a monk first put a cross on a bun he was making to mark Good Friday. Jesus died on a cross on this sad day, but we know that was not the end. Three days later Jesus rose from the dead and appeared to some of his friends.

Ingredients 500g Strong white flour 1 x 7g sachet dried yeast 50g Caster sugar 2 tsp Mixed spice 1 tsp Cinnamon Grated rind of one orange 40g Butter 300ml Milk 1 Egg beaten 200g Sultanas 50g Candied peel Oil for greasing Topping; 3 tbsp plain flour 2 tbsp water Warmed syrup for glazing.

Method Step1 Tip warmed flour into a bowl with the salt, spices and sugar. Rub warmed butter into the flour using finger tips. Step 2 Stir in the dried fruit and peel. Sprinkle over yeast and stir it in. Step 3 Heat the milk so that it is just hot to the touch. (adults needed here!) Beat milk with the egg and pour into the dry ingredients. Step 4 Using a blunt knife mix the ingredients to a soft dough and leave to stand for 5 minutes while you clear the surfaces. Step 5 Take dough out of the bowl and knead it. Use the heel of your hand to spread the dough forward and then roll it back. Once it is smooth and stretchy cut it into 10/12/14 pieces depending on the size of buns you want. Step 6 Shape each piece into a ball on a floured board, flatten slightly and place on a lined baking tray, allowing space between each bun. Cover the tray with cling film and leave in a warm place for one hour to an hour and a half, until each bun is half as big again. Step 7 When buns are risen, heat the oven to 220 C. / fan 200, gas mark 7. Mix topping of flour and water to a paste, until smooth. Fill a small plastic food bag and snip a tiny hole in one corner. Use this to pipe crosses on each bun. Step 8 Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until risen and golden. When cooked brush each bun with warmed syrup. Cool on a wire rack. When cool cut in half and spread with butter. Enjoy