Good Food, Good Friday

By 30th March 2022 No Comments

hot cross buns

Traditionally eaten on Good Friday this sweet bun made with spices and raisins is easy to make. So, if you would like to eat these comforting and aromatic treats all year round, here’s the perfect recipe.

Hot cross buns

Ready in: 40 minutes, plus proving time

Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Serves: 16


  • 175g mixed dried fruit
  • 1 orange, zested
  • 7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 300ml semi-skimmed milk, warm, plus 1 tbsp milk to glaze
  • 600g strong white bread flour
  • tsp mixed spice
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • whole nutmeg, to grate
  • 75g unsalted butter, softened, plus 1 tbsp melted butter
  • ½ tsp oil, for greasing
  • medium free-range egg, yolk only
  • 50g plain flour


    1. Mix together the dried fruit and orange zest in a bowl. Set aside. Put the yeast in a jug with 15g caster sugar. Pour over 4 tbsp warm milk and leave to foam for 5 minutes.
    2. In a food processor, pulse the flour, 110g caster sugar, a pinch of salt, the mixed spice, cinnamon, a good grating of nutmeg and the softened butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Tip into a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Pour in the yeast mixture and most of the remaining milk. Mix to a sticky dough, adding more milk if needed.
    3. Tip on to a floured surface and knead for 8-10 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Add the dried fruits and zest mixture and knead until combined. Put in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with oiled clingfilm and leave in a warm place to rise for 1 hour until doubled in size.
    4. Press the dough into a rectangular shape. Divide and shape into 16 balls of equal size. Place, almost touching, on baking trays lined with baking parchment. Cover with a damp tea towel and leave in a warm place until doubled in size and joined together – this may take up to an hour, depending on the temperature.
    5. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 230°C/fan 210°C/gas mark 8. Beat the egg yolk with 1 tbsp milk and gently brush the buns with the mixture.
    6. Mix together the plain flour and 1 tbsp melted butter with 4 tbsp water to form a paste. Spoon into a piping bag with a plain nozzle and pipe a cross on the top of each bun. Bake in the oven for 5 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 190°C/fan 170°C/gas mark 5, and bake for a further 10-15 minutes until risen and golden. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.
    7. In a small pan, gently heat the remaining sugar with 2 tbsp water to dissolve. Bring to the boil, then brush over the cooled buns. Allow to cool completely before serving.