Sunday, 12 April 2009

Apple and cinnamon hot cross buns - recipe

P4120192 Life still seems like it is a bit of a rollercoaster, I’m desperately trying to catch-up with everything which has been put to one side over the last few months like bills (oops!), cleaning, work, seeing friends and trying to spend a bit of time relaxing. Things are slowly coming together and beginning to settle again.

Despite the busyness, I couldn’t possibly let Easter pass without some baking, so what better to make than hot cross buns!

This recipe is a slight variation on the Richard Bertinet’s recipe in last month’s Sainbury’s magazine. I really like M&S apple and cinnamon hot cross buns, so I thought I’d try to make my own using this recipe as the base. The result was good!

Don’t expect these for breakfast (unless you get up at 4am). I started at about 8.30 am and we ate the first one about 3pm.


500gr strong bread flour

60gr butter, cut into small cubes

7gr dried yeast

80gr caster sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1 tbs mixed spice

2 tbs ground cinnamon

175gr sultanas

75gr dried apple rings, chopped

3 eggs

250ml milk

50gr plain flour


  1. Rub the butter into the bread flour in a mixing bowl until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  2. Warm the milk so that you can hold your little finger in it.
  3. Stir in the yeast, 40gr sugar and salt.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix the dried fruit with the spices so that they become completely coated. Add this to the flour mixture.
  5. Add the milk and 2 eggs and mix them with your finger tips. When they are completely combined you should end up with a really sticky dough. Turn this out onto a lightly-floured surface (but don’t add any more flour until I tell to you to!).
  6. Knead the dough for about 15 mins by pulling, stretching, pushing the heel of your hand into the dough and slamming the dough onto the surface. (The slamming part I found quite therapeutic – especially as I had some bad dreams last and was in a strange mood this morning).
  7. You’ll know when the dough is ready as it will no longer be sticky, but smooth. It shouldn’t stick to the board/work surface. You can now add a little bit of flour, shape the dough into a ball, place this back in the mixing bowl, cover with a clean tea-towel and place in a warm place to rest for a couple of hours.
  8. When the dough has risen, split it into 16 pieces and make each one into ball. Place these close together on a baking tray. Take the last eggs (beaten) and brush on to the balls of dough (keep any remaining egg, we’ll use it later!). Cover. Leave to rest again somewhere warm (I took them outside in the sunshine)for at least an hour and half, or until the balls start to squish into one another on the tray.
  9. Preheat the oven to 220 degrees Celsius.P4120173
  10. Mix the plain flour with 2 tbls of water, adding the water slowly, until a paste is formed. Transfer the paste to a piping bag (or a plastic food bag with the end snipped off) and pipe crosses on the tops.
  11. Place in the oven for 15 mins.
  12. Lastly, you need to make the glaze. Place the remaining 40gr sugar with 40ml of water in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Don’t let it boil for too long, just a minute or two (mine turned to caramel because I let it boil too long…)
  13. When the buns are cooked, brush the sugar glaze on top, then remove to a wire rack to cool.
  14. Serve warm, cut in half with butter!


  1. oh, these rolls look so good. I didn't try to make any for Easter, we cheated and went to my favorite bakery. Its hard for me to justify making something when I don't think I can improve on the product, and that was certainly the case. I may have to make an exception for your batch though.

    Hope all is well as santiy returns =)

  2. Just a quick tip for next year if you want hot cross buns for breakfast!

    Make the dough the night before and leave the buns to rise overnight then all you have to do in the morning is make the crosses, cook and glaze them - works a treat!!

  3. What a great tip - thank you!

    I *might* be tempted to make some more this weekend, so if I do, I'll give it go!


I'd love to know any comments you might have.