Easter is right around the corner and nothing is more traditional than a big batch of super-soft hot cross buns. This recipe is a bit of a tweak on the classic with some added spices and some chunks of marzipan for an extra sweet touch. If you think making bread of any type just isn’t in the cards for you, you need to give this recipe a chance. It’s a foolproof recipe that is truly delicious and you just can’t go wrong. These buns are amazing right out of the oven but in the days that follow, slice them in half and pop them in the toaster and serve with soft butter. It just doesn’t get better than that!
Here’s how to make WanderEater’s hot cross buns recipe!
Yields: 12 buns
- 1 cup milk
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp active dry yeast
- 2 cups bread flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
- 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp ground allspice
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup golden raisins
- 1/8 cup dried cranberries
- 1/8 cup chopped marzipan
- 1/2 cup apple juice
- 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp water
- Honey for glazing
- First, soak the dried fruit. Place the fruit in a heatproof bowl and put the apple juice in a small saucepan and heat until hot but not boiling. Pour over the dried fruit and cover with a plate. Leave to sit for approx. 1 hour then drain and pat dry.
- Put the milk and 1/4 cup water to a small saucepan and place over low heat for a few minutes, or until slightly warm – you should be able to dip your finger in.
- Add the butter to a separate pan and heat over low heat for a few minutes, or until melted, then set aside.
- Transfer the warmed milk mixture to a medium bowl and stir in the yeast.
- Sift the flour into a large bowl, then add the salt, spices, and sugar.
- Make a well in the centre and pour in the melted butter, followed by the yeast mixture. In a separate bowl, beat the egg and add it to the bowl.
- Using a fork, mix well until you have a shaggy dough, then transfer to a clean flour-dusted work surface and knead for around 10 minutes, or until soft and springy.
- Return the dough to a flour-dusted bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and leave to prove in a warm place for at least an hour, or until doubled in size.
- Once the dough has doubled, transfer it to a clean flour-dusted work surface. Knock the air out by punching it down, then sprinkle over the dried fruit and marzipan, and work it into the dough for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 375ºF and grease and line a large baking tray.
- Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces and roll each into a ball, spacing them out evenly on the tray.
- Cover with the same tea towel and leave in a warm place for 30 minutes, or until doubled in size.
- Place the plain flour and 2 tablespoons of water into a small bowl and mix to a thick paste.
- Gently pat down the risen buns then use the batter to carefully trace a cross over the top with a piping bag.
- Place the buns into the preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Transfer to a wire rack to cool for a few minutes. Then brush them with honey to glaze, then leave to cool completely.
- Serve the hot cross buns warm with a good shmear of butter and enjoy!