If there’s ever a time to make and demolish a bunch of hot cross buns, it’s now. Follow our recipe for these soft, sweet, fluffy buns and thank us later.
30mins + rising
300ml plant based milk
480g strong bread flour
2 tsp fast action/instant yeast
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp mixed spice
120g dried mixed fruit (such as sultanas, apricots, cranberries etc.)
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp apricot or orange marmalade (or maple syrup)
Start by making the dough. Add margarine to a small saucepan and melt over low heat. Add the milk and sugar and stir to dissolve. Remove the saucepan from heat and let sit for 10 minutes, until the mixture cools down to lukewarm temperature.
Add flour, yeast, salt and spices to a large bowl and mix. Make a small well in the middle of the bowl, add the milk mixture, and stir with a spoon/spatula until it forms a rough dough. Transfer the dough onto a lightly floured surface, knead for 8-10 minutes then form it into a ball. It should be soft and springy.
Lightly oil the mixing bowl and transfer the dough back in. Cover the bowl with a damp tea towel or cling film, and let it sit in a warm place until it has doubled in size (1-2 hours).
Line a large baking tray with parchment paper. Once the dough has risen, transfer it back to a floured surface. Gently knock the air out of the dough with your hands. Sprinkle the dried fruit in and knead it gently into the dough for 1-2 minutes.
Divide the dough into 12 portions and roll into balls, transferring them onto the baking tray - leaving a couple cm between each - as you go. Cover the tray with a tea towel and leave in a warm place for one last rise - for around 45 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 190˚C. Prepare the cross mixture by combining flour, 50 ml water and sugar in a small bowl, mixing to make a thick paste. Add a few extra drops of water if the mixture feels too thick. It shouldn’t be runny but should be spreadable. If you have a piping bag, transfer the mixture into that, if not use a spoon.
When the buns have risen, pat them down gently with your hands. Trace a cross over the top of the buns - with either the piping bag or spoon - one line at a time.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown. Once baked, brush with marmalade or maple syrup.