Hot Cross Buns

hot cross buns 3 ways
  • 12 servings
  • 2 hours to prepare
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  • 640g strong white flour plus extra for dusting
  • 110g caster sugar
  • 2tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1tsp mixed spice
  • Two small oranges, zest only
  • 200g dried fruit
  • 9g fast action yeast
  • 50g melted butter
  • 375ml warm milk
  • 1 egg
  • For The Crosses:
  • 75g flour
  • 5tbsp water
  • For The Glaze
  • 3tbsp warmed maple syrup


1. Put flour, sugar, ground cinnamon, mixed spice, orange zest and dried fruit and yeast in a bowl.
2. Add the melted butter, warmed milk and egg and mix using a stand mixer with a dough hook for about 10 minutes.
3. Transfer the dough to a clean bowl that you have greased with oil, cover with clingfilm and leave in a warm place to prove, allow to double in size.
4. When doubled in size, remove and knock out the air, roll into a sausage and divide into 12 equal pieces.
5. Line a baking tray with parchment slightly bigger than the tray.
6. Take one piece of dough and press down with your palm, then use your fingers to gather into a ball, then roll the dough briefly to form a ball. This stretches the dough on one side and that’s how to get a nice smooth surface.
7. Place the ball with the smooth side up on the tray. Repeat with remaining dough. Line them up 3 x 4.
8. Spray a piece of cling film lightly with oil, then loosely place over the tray.
9. Return tray to a warm place and leave for 30 – 45 minutes until the dough has risen by about 1/4.
10. Partway through them rising, preheat oven to 180°C/350°F/170°Fan/Gas Mark 4.
11. To make the crosses, mix flour and water until a thick paste forms.
12. Spoon into a round 3 mm piping bag or small ziplock bag then snip corner.
13. Remove the cling film wrap and pipe crosses onto the buns.
14. Bake in preheated oven for 22 minutes, or until the surface is a deep golden brown. The surface colour is the best test for this recipe.
15. Meanwhile warm the maple syrup in a pan. Be careful as this can get very hot.
16. Remove buns from oven. Use the parchment overhang to lift buns onto a cooling rack.
17. Brush with warmed maple syrup and allow to cool to warm before serving.

Chef’s Tip:
This recipe works well with any dried fruit and you could also use honey, syrup or apricot jam as your glaze.

For Apple and Salted Caramel Flavour

Add the below and omit orange zest and half the dried fruit.
250g of roasted dried apple
200g fudge pieces
100g of dried fruit
To Make The Roasted Apple
2 apples peeled and diced
1tbsp sugar
Lemon, juice only
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Mix the apple with the sugar, lemon and ground cinnamon and bake at 180°C/350°F/170°Fan/Gas Mark 4 for 15-20 minutes and allow to cool.

Salted Caramel Custard Cross:
75g flour
5tbsp of water
2tbsp of caramel sauce

For the Bacon and Cheese Flavour

Add the below ingredients and remove orange zest, dried fruit, allspice, sugar and ground cinnamon.

200g Booths vintage cheddar, grated
2tsp chopped rosemary
1tsp salt
16 rashers smoked bacon, 8 diced and cooked, and 8 for the crosses

Cook the diced bacon until crispy and allow to cool on some kitchen roll to remove any excess fat.

For The Bacon Cross:
Cut streaky bacon down to size you may have to cut the bacon in half lengthways so the cross isn’t too wide.