Hot cross buns


The coming of Easter means a long Bank Holiday weekend and with it, plenty of time to get your Easter baking skills into full gear. Great British Chefs blogger Monica Shaw has provided a recipe for classic hot cross buns.

First published in 2015

What’s an Easter bake without hot cross buns? These sweet, spiced yeast buns take some time to make, but the method is straightforward and it’s time well spent. Once you bake your own, you will never buy store bought hot cross buns again. Chef Rachel Demuth of Demuths Restaurant kindly shared with us her recipe for Hot cross buns below.




For the buns

  • 1 tbsp of dried yeast, active
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 125ml of water, warm
  • 350g of strong white flour
  • 100g of strong wholemeal flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • 50g of caster sugar
  • 75g of sultanas
  • 75g of dried apricots, chopped
  • 75g of mixed peel
  • 125ml of milk, warm
  • 50g of butter, melted
  • 1 egg, beaten

Piping paste

  • 4 tbsp of flour, white but unbleached
  • 1 tbsp of caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp of water, cold


  • 1 egg, beaten with 1 tbsp milk to make an egg wash
  • 2 tbsp of sugar
  • 2 tbsp of water


To begin, combine the dried yeast and sugar in a bowl, then whisk in the warm water. Cover the bowl with cling film and leave in a warm place for approximately 10-15 minutes, until frothy
Sieve the flour into a large mixing bowl, then mix in salt, sugar, spice and fruits
Create a well in the middle of the ingredients and use your hands to mix in the frothy yeast mixture. Add the milk, butter and egg, then mix well to form a sticky dough
Scatter a little flour over a work surface and place the dough on top. Knead with your hands for 5 minutes or so, until smooth
Grease a bowl with a little oil and add the ball of dough. Top the bowl with cling film and allow to prove in a warm place for 1 hour, or until doubled in size
Lightly dust a work surface with flour and turn out the dough. Knead gently, then roll into a long sausage-shape. Split into 12 even pieces, using scales for accuracy. Roll each piece of dough into a ball
Arrange the balls on a lined baking tray, spacing out so they are close but not touching. Set aside to until doubled in size for 45 minutes in a warm place
Meanwhile, make the piping paste and preheat the oven to 220°C/gas mark 6
For the paste, simply mix together the water, flour and sugar until smooth. Add to a piping bag with a thin, plain nozzle
To make the egg wash, beat together the milk and egg yolk
When the buns have finished proving, use a blunt knife to make a cross-shaped indentation on each one. Use a pastry brush to coat with egg wash, then pipe the crosses into the indentations
Bake the buns for 20 minutes, until nicely golden and sound hollow when tapped
Meanwhile, make the glaze. Add the sugar and water to a pan and dissolve over a low heat. As soon as the buns are ready, remove from the oven and brush over the glaze. Allow to cool on a wire rack before pulling apart and serving
First published in 2015

Monica Shaw's mission is to enable people to feel awesome, through food, life, work and play.

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