Cardamom may seem like a slightly odd addition to a hot cross bun recipe, but it has a lovely warm citrus aroma that really complements the flavours of our favourite Easter staple. For best results serve lightly toasted, with a generous helping of salted butter.

Cooking time 20 minutes | Prep time 2-3 hours

Makes 8 large hot cross buns

Ingredients

For the buns:

450g strong white flour
7g dried yeast (or 14g fresh yeast)
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons mixed spice
2 teaspoons ground cardamom
Zest of one lemon
90g unsalted butter
350ml milk

For the cross:

3 tablespoons plain flour
3 tablespoons water

For the glaze:

2 tablespoons marmalade
2 tablespoons boiling water

Method

  • Place the flour into a large bowl and rub in the butter with your fingertips, until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs
  • Rub the yeast into the flour and butter mixture
  • Add the fruit to the flour along with the lemon zest, ground cardamom, mixed spice, salt and milk and combine until the mixture forms a dough (adding more milk if it feels a little dry)
  • Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for around 5 minutes, until it feels soft but not sticky
  • Return the dough to the bowl, cover with a tea towel, and leave to rise for around an hour and a half, or until it has doubled in size
  • When the dough has risen, place it onto a lightly floured surface and roll it into a large sausage shape
  • Cut the doughy sausage into 8 equal pieces
  • Roll each of the pieces into a ball and then place onto a baking tray lined with grease-proof paper (making sure to leave a good gap between each one)

  • Cover the baking tray with a tea towel and leave the buns to rise for about an hour, or until they have noticeably puffed up
  • Pre-heat the oven to 180°C
  • Make the paste for the cross by mixing together the plain flour and water. You want it to have a soft consistency (as you need to pipe it), but not be too runny, as it won’t hold its shape
  • Place the paste into a disposable piping bag and cut a small hole in the end
  • When the buns have risen, pipe a cross onto each one using the paste
  • Bake the hot cross buns for around 20 minutes, or until their crusts have turned a very dark golden brown
  • Make the glaze by mixing together the boiling water and marmalade
  • When the buns have come out of the oven, brush over the marmalade glaze and then leave them to cool completely on a wire rack before serving
  • These hot cross buns will last for a couple of days, wrapped up well and stored in a cool dark place (not the fridge)

Top tip

Different flours will absorb different amounts of liquid, so I would add ¾ of the suggested liquid to the mixture at first and then if the dough feels a little dry, you can always add some more.

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