Hot cross buns are traditionally served hot or toasted on Good Friday, the cross standing as a symbol of the Crucifixion.
Course Breakfast, Brunch
Cuisine Edwardian, English, Victorian
Prep Time 30 minutesminutes
Cook Time 12 minutesminutes
Total Time 42 minutesminutes
1/2cupcurrantsor chopped candied peel
4 1/2 - 5cupsunbleached all purpose flour
1/3cupunbleached all purpose flour
In a one-cup measuring cup, pour 1/2 cup warm water. Add 1 tsp. sugar, but do not stir. Slowly sprinkle the yeast into the water, ensuring that each particle gets wet. Do not stir. Wait 10 minutes until the yeast is thick and foamy.
Add the following into a large bread bowl, stirring after each addition: milk which has now cooled, eggs, sugar, salt, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg.
Next add the yeast mixture, raisins, currants or peel, 1 cup of flour and the cooled butter and mix.
Quickly add in the remaining flour one cup at a time to make a fairly stiff dough. Coat with flour before turning on a floured work surface to knead.
Turn the dough out and knead until smooth and elastic which should take about 10 minutes.
Place the dough into a greased bowl. You can use your bread bowl after it has been cleaned. Turn over the dough so that the top is now greased as well. Cover with a clean tea towel and put in a warm place until doubled which will take about 1 1/2 hours.
Punch the risen dough and turn out onto a floured surface. Shape into a 12-inch long log. Cut the dough into equal pieces to make 12 or 16 buns, depending on the size you like.
Work each piece of dough into smooth, seamless balls. Place buns on two greased baking sheets leaving an each between each bun. Press each to flatten slightly. Cover with a clean tea towel and let rest for 30–45 minutes in a draft-free place, or in your oven.
Preheat your oven to 375F.
Mix the egg with caster sugar to make an egg glaze. Brush buns with the egg glaze. Mix the flour and water to make the paste for the crosses. Pipe the crosses onto the buns.
You can skip this step and score a cross in the bun and then finish after baking with thick icing to pipe a cross onto each bun after the buns have been baked and cooled.
Bake for 15-18 minutes. Cool immediately on a wire rack.