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HCBs |

Crack out your recorders lads, because it's time to make some 'Hot Cross Buns'. A classic Easter-time treat, this recipe will make you ask your significant other to 'bring you five' because they're just that good. Recipe from Paul Hollywood

Prep time: 3 hours

Cooking time: 25 minutes

Makes: 12-15 HCBs


300ml full fat milk 500g strong white flour 75g white sugar 1 tsp salt 7g yeast 50g butter 1 egg 150g raisins 80g mixed peel 1 apple 2 oranges 2tsp cinnamon 75g plain flour Apricot jam

1. Seriously dough

Heat your 300ml milk and 50g of butter gently in a pan or microwavé, not too hot, find your inner Goldilocks eating porridge and make sure it's just right aka. hand temperature . If it's too hot leave it to cool a little.

In the meantime, add 500g strong white flour, 75g white sugar, 1 tsp salt, 7g yeast and 1 egg to your bowl, and mix together slowly pouring in the warm milk until it comes together to a dough

Turn the dough out onto the surface and work those arm muscles, kneading for roughly 10 minutes until smooth and elastic

Gently lay your doughy baby into his crib, and tuck him in tightly with clingfilm over the top. Leave to rise for an hour

2. Nice buns!

While the dough is rising, prepare your 'filling' ingredients. Weigh out 150g raisins,

80g mixed peel and 2tsp cinnamon, core peel and dice 1 apple and zest 2 oranges

Once the dough has had it's first rise, add in these fillings and knead together until combined, roughly another 5 minutes

Once combined, divide the big daddy dough into equal pieces and roll into balls (you can bake between 12-15 balls depending on how big you want your HCBs to be). Place onto a baking tray, cover and leave to rise for another hour

3. No need to get cross

Time to make these hot buns, cross. Just before the hour's rise is up, prepare the mixture for the cross decoration by mixing five tablespoons of water with the 75g of plain flour. until it forms a thick paste good enough for the pope to feed you at communion. Preheat your oven to 220°C

Add this paste to a piping bag (or freezer bag with the corner cut off if you still refuse to buy adult kitchen supplies like us) and pipe crosses on top of the buns. Don't worry if they come out a bit Jackson pollock, as long as there's a rough cross shape you're good

Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

Lovingly brush those buns with apricot jam while they're still warm to give them a delicious sticky glaze

Dink and sink!

Food for Thought

Lizzy says: "This took a lot of convincing for me to join in with the making because I am not a fan of seasonal British food (see mince pies as well). But the best thing about making your HCBs is that you can add as much or as little fruit as you like. The end bake was a million times better than a shop bought one, and definitely worth the time. I'm just sorry we didn't have our dink and sink with a toasted, buttered HCB - shameful! 8/10"

Kate says: "The signal of spring is here. HCBs! These are really only a once a year recipe for me because they take so.much.effort. You really need to schedule a whole day to make these because of the rise time which knocks them down a few points. I would say this is a fairly solid version of a HCB recipe, full of raisins and apple and a little cinnamon too. They are however, not as satisfying as a packet HCB which you can toast up in minutes. I thoroughly recommend trying these out next time spring rolls around and you have a day free. 8/10"

8/10 Gasps


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