House Tip: Hot cross buns for Easter

Four hot cross buns

Nicola Cooper of Blake’s Kitchen shares her recipe for these signature treats

By Olivia Atkins

Watch and learn how to make the perfect hot cross buns in time for Easter with Nicola Cooper, the founder of Blake’s Kitchen in Clanfield, Oxfordshire. She is also a consultant baker at Soho Farmhouse. The recipe, ingredients and method can be found below.

625g strong white flour
70g dark brown soft sugar
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp ginger
½ tsp cinnamon
30g black treacle
25g fresh yeast (or 15g dried)
7g sea salt
125g unsalted, softened butter
1 medium free-range egg
250g sultanas (or other dried fruit), soaked in warm water for one hour, then well drained
125g mixed peel
125g plain flour
75g sugar

1. First, make the ‘sponge’ by whisking 225g of the strong white flour, dark brown sugar, spices, treacle and yeast with 300ml of tepid water. Leave in a warm place for approximately one hour until the mixture is slightly bubbly on top.

2. In a large bowl, add the remaining strong white flour, salt, butter, egg and the ‘sponge’. Mix until combined and tip out onto a worktop. Then fold in the fruit. Alternatively, you can use a kitchen mixer with a dough attachment.

3. Knead for 10 minutes, or use our sneaky tips on the ‘slap and fold’ technique in the video. Leave in a warm place to double in size.

4. Roll the dough into 120g balls, then place them on a baking tray 2cm apart. Leave the buns somewhere warm for one to two hours until they’ve doubled in size, and are soft and light to the touch.

5. Preheat your oven to 180°C fan/ 160°C/ gas mark 4. Make the mixture for the crosses by mixing together the plain flour and 140ml of cold water.

6. Fill a piping bag with the mixture and pipe crosses onto the buns.

7. Bake for approximately 15 minutes until golden brown.

8. While the buns are in the oven, heat 75ml water and 75g white sugar together and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat, then brush on the glaze with a pastry brush until shiny. Serve warm, or toast the following day.


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